Security experts and analysts have said that if the federal government imposes a ban on Huawei prohibiting the company from building Canada’s new 5G network, it will not have any major financial impact on the country’s top telecom companies who are partnering with the Chinese firm, CBC News is reporting.
BCE and Telus, two of the country’s major cell phone carriers who already use Huawei’s equipment in their infrastructure, are currently in 5G pretrial stages with the Chinese company, which according to some intelligence officials, could pose a security threat due to its links with China’s government.
Telecoms analyst Desmond Lau has said that since BCE and Telus have not put a lot of capital into 5G trials, the financial hit from a possible ban on Huawei wouldn’t be a big deal for the two companies. “They also have Nokia as another 5G partner, so they could probably just switch all toward Nokia if they really needed to”, Lau added.
“Huawei has been working with Canadian operators on a number of pre-commercial trials in the lead up to 5G,” said Scott Bradley, a spokesman for Huawei Canada. “These efforts will ensure Canada is well positioned to be one of the early leaders in 5G globally and will benefit Canadians in applications as diverse as greatly improving rural service, to spurring new innovations requiring increased speeds and capacity.”
New Zealand and Australia have already banned Huawei from working on their 5G networks, whereas British phone carrier BT has also said it would not use Huawei’s equipment for its 5G mobile network.
A previous report from The Globe and Mail citing unnamed telecom executives claimed ripping out Huawei hardware by Telus and Bell could cost over $1 billion dollars.
Earlier this month, Huawei’s CFO was arrested in Vancouver at the request of U.S. authorities, and was eventually granted bail on $10 million CAD, with possible extradition proceedings coming up next.