Vodafone and Orange in Spain are planning to use equipment from one or both Chinese equipment vendors Huawei Technologies and ZTE in 5G pilots as part of projects submitted to obtain government subsidies, according to Spanish media.
Specifically, Vodafone Spain is said to have submitted three projects to state agency Red.es. It plans to work with Huawei on 5G trials in Pamplona in Navarra as well as Malaga and Seville in Andalucia. The operator intends to use Ericsson equipment for a project in the city of Vigo.
Orange Spain, meanwhile, is also said to have submitted three projects and is proposing to use Huawei equipment to trial 5G technology in Malaga and Seville, while working with ZTE in Valencia and Nokia in Vigo.
Telefónica appears to have only submitted plans for one 5G project with Ericsson and Nokia in Galicia. Spain’s fourth network operator, MásMóvil, has formed an alliance with regional cable operator Euskaltel for a 5G pilot in the Miramón area and is said to have selected Ericsson as the supplier for this project as well as for a second project in Valencia.
As already reported by SDxCentral, 2018 was an appalling year for both Huawei and ZTE that culminated in reports that President Donald Trump may issue an executive order to declare a national emergency that would ban U.S. companies from buying telecom gear from either vendor.
Thus any indications of continuing operator support are likely to be welcomed by both vendors with open arms. For its part, Huawei has maintained a positive stance, pointing out that its 2018 sales revenue is expected to reach $108.5 billion, up 21 percent year over year. Rotating Chairman Guo Ping also stated that the company has signed 26 commercial contracts for 5G with global carriers, and it has shipped more than 10,000 5G base stations to markets around the world.
Ericsson and Nokia might have been expected to benefit from the plight of their Chinese rivals. Indeed, a recent report by Technology Business Research (TBR) noted a potential opportunity for Ericsson to gain market share due to continued geo-political issues, including the fact that a growing number of countries are pushing for their telecom operators to quit using network equipment from Huawei and ZTE due to security concerns.
However, the Wall Street Journal has just quoted sources at major European wireless service providers as saying that the Scandinavian vendors have not yet capitalized on the Chinese vendors’ woes. Apparently, some sources said Ericsson and Nokia have been slow to release telecom equipment that is as advanced as Huawei’s — claims both companies have apparently denied in statements to the WSJ. Other sources suggested that the vendors have concerns about potential retaliation from China if they are seen to be taking advantage of Huawei’s situation.