BERLIN (Reuters) – A business group representing challenger telecoms operators in Europe warned on Friday against banning Chinese equipment vendors, saying that doing so for political reasons would force up costs and delay network upgrades.
In a strongly-worded statement, the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA), said it “denounces any bans of Chinese 5G suppliers for geopolitical reasons and emphasises that such decisions can only be justified on the basis of well-established facts”.
ECTA groups alternative telecoms such as Germany’s 1&1 Drillisch, Iliad of France and Spain’s Masmovil. China’s Huawei Technologies, the global networks market leader, is also on board.
Huawei’s position in Europe has come under pressure from a U.S. campaign to purge next-generation networks of kit that Washington says can be used for spying – claims that the Chinese company denies.
ECTA’s statement comes after France imposed restrictions on Huawei equipment that sources familiar with the matter said amounted