SoftBank to shun Huawei in favour of Ericsson, Nokia

TOKYO: SoftBank Group Corp plans to replace 4G network equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd with hardware from Nokia and Ericsson, Nikkei reported on Thursday, without citing sources.
The move comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of Chinese tech firms by the United States and some prominent allies over ties to the Chinese government, driven by concerns they could be used by Beijing for spying.
SoftBank, Japan’s third-largest telco, will also order equipment for its next generation 5G network from the two European suppliers instead of Huawei, Nikkei reported.
A SoftBank spokesman said the report was “based on speculation and no decision has been made”.
Nokia and Ericsson are already big suppliers to SoftBank.
It also has the longest running relationship with Huawei among Japan’s top three telcos, but the firm has previously said that the amount of equipment it uses from Chinese makers “is relatively small”. Replacing the 4G equipment, which Nikkei reported will be done over several years, is likely to be time-consuming and expensive, industry sources have said. — Reuters