Vodafone has said that the Huawei ban would require it to rip out almost a third of its 4G network, costing a huge amount of money, and delaying roll out of 5G by years. Vodafone estimated that 32 per cent of its own 4G base stations are made by Huawei.
The group’s UK chief technology officer Scott Petty said that Huawei radio equipment was used in nearly a third of the company’s 18,000 UK base stations – a part of the network it gauged to be very low risk. It would also be part of the foundation for 5G technology.
They said operators should be able to use Huawei’s radio technology on its masts even if they could not use the company’s kit in the more critical transport network and core network.
Vodafone today announced that it will deploy mobile 5G services in 19 towns and cities across the UK before the end of 2019, making it one of Europe’s most proactive telcos on 5G. In the UK especially, Vodafone is keen to remain on the front foot for 5G. It’s continued partnership with Huawei will be integral to ensuring that the UK remains one of the first-for-5G destinations in Europe, and petty warned that even the proposed 50 per cent cap on Huawei’s UK operations would still have a negative effect on the industry.