Rogers’ vice-chairman is warning Canada from letting Huawei be involved in the 5G rollout.
“Huawei is cheaper and quite sophisticated. But the fact is, they’re very, very close to the Chinese government. So for anyone to argue that they wouldn’t be compromised if the government said, ‘do this’ – they’d do it. They have to do it. They’re in that country,” Phil Lind said in an interview with BNN.
“The idea of Huawei controlling – or potentially controlling – our communication system in Canada is crazy. I don’t think they should be allowed to.”
Reports have been made that a decision could come before or after the federal election.
In an interview on May 30th, Innovation, Science and Economic Minister Navdeep Bains said he didn’t want to speculate on what would happen to the competition scene in Canada.
Asked if this will set Canada back in the 5G rollout, he said: “The question is based on the premise that we made a decision and there’s an outcome. We haven’t made a decision and I don’t want to speculate.”
Bains said that he’s continuously talking to the carriers about their needs.
“We are speaking with allies, looking at the telecommunications sector…fundamentally the decision we make is predicated on protecting and making sure Canadians are safe and secure. That ultimately will guide the decision and the timeline,” he said.
Tensions with Huawei began in December when its CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver. The U.S. has charged Meng, Huawei and subsidiary Skycom with 13 counts of bank and wire fraud. Huawei denies the accusations. Meng is expected to learn more of her extradition in court in September.
In Canada, Bell and Telus have invested and worked with Huawei to roll out its 3G and 4G LTE networks. Neither company has decided on a 5G vendor, though Nokia Canada suggests they should decide by the end of this year if they want to be ready to roll out the technology when the spectrum is available.
Rogers selected Ericsson as its 5G vendor.