US to increase pressure on new 5G equipment
The US continues to apply pressure about the issue of fifth-generation cellular telephony equipment (5G), both in Europe and in Greece, as many networks are currently close to large equipment procurements. Signs show that this pressure is yielding results.
In Greece, after the recent contacts of US officials with their Greek counterparts to prevent the further penetration by Chinese giant Huawei in the Greek market, sources say that officials from the US Department of Commerce are planning a new visit. This time the US officials will bring along representatives of the US industry to offer alternative solutions for the development of new-generation networks. The meetings with Greek officials and industry representatives are said to be set for February.
Despite the government and the local industry trying to downplay the issue, US pressure has paid dividend as the Greek companies prepare to acquire equipment worth over 500 million euros in the next two to three years: Cosmote is conducting a tender for 4G and 5G equipment and has excluded Huawei, the company that rivals Vodafone and Wind Hellas exclusively rely on. However, Vodafone’s parent company in Britain has opened a tender for equipment in 14 countries, including Greece, that may well head toward the Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) architecture that the US industry is promoting.