Telus today announced that it has selected Nokia and Ericsson to build its 5G network, retracting its original plan to include Huawei.
With Telus now shifting to Nokia and Ericsson, it has joined Rogers and Bell in abandoning Huawei for its 5G infrastructure. Bell Canada’s decision landed earlier this morning when it announced that it has signed a supplier deal with Ericsson. Together with Nokia, Ericsson will be a supplier of Bell Canada’s 5G radio access network.
Telus’ supplier switch is a major blow to Huawei, which had hoped to continue to sell its telecommunication equipment in Canada. Out of the Big Three Canadian carriers, Telus had the strongest tie with Huawei as much of its 4G network is built using Huawei gear. Bell also uses Huawei gear in its 4G network.
On Feb. 20, Telus CFO Doug French originally told the Financial Post that the company would move ahead with its 5G deployment with Huawei while Ottawa continues to evaluate Huawei’s security.
The British Columbia Supreme Court recently decided that the extradition process of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou should proceed under allegations of bank fraud. The decision is expected to cause further tension between China and Canada, which are already on shaky grounds after arresting Meng at Vancouver international airport in Dec. 2018.
In response to Bell Canada choosing Ericsson, Huawei has released the following statement:
“Huawei has worked closely with our customers in Canada for many years, helping them build some of the world’s leading 4G LTE networks. We remain committed to supporting their world-class high-speed networks. We thank all our customers for their partnership – which will evolve but continue in the years ahead.
Huawei’s commitment to Canada remains strong and unaltered. We continue to grow our business by selling high-quality mobile devices that Canadians love and rely on. We continue investing a quarter of a billion dollars a year in R&D in Canada. We continue building new research partnerships with Canada’s world-class universities. As we have for more than a decade, we continue to work with our Canadian telecom partners to help them build and support state-of-the-art networks that connect Canadians.
We look forward to the federal government completing its 5G review and making an evidence-based decision about Huawei’s role in helping build Canada’s next-generation wireless networks. In 12 years in Canada, we have never received a complaint from any of our customers about the integrity of our network equipment.”
In Telus’ press release, the company said it will commit $40 billion over the next three years to develop technologies to support its 5G rollout.
Telus was not immediately available for comment.