Japanese carriers toe govt line in opting not to use Chinese vendors for 5G rollout

11 Dec 2018

Local press reports suggest that Japan’s three main mobile network operators (MNOs), NTT DOCOMO, KDDI (au) and SoftBank Group, have decided not to engage Chinese equipment manufacturers to carry out their 5G network deployments, due to rising security concerns that has seen governments or telcos in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom rethink their strategies where it comes to installing Chinese equipment.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the government of Japan announced its intention to bar Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturers Huawei and ZTE from public procurement programmes and ban the two Chinese firms from supplying infrastructure products. In what will be a major blow to Huawei, which has been spearheading a drive to secure a share of the Japanese market, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later told reporters: ‘It’s extremely important to avoid buying equipment that includes malicious functions like stealing or destroying information or halting information systems’.

In addition to the big three MNOs, e-commerce firm Rakuten, which will become Japan’s fourth wireless carrier when Rakuten Mobile kicks off operations next year, is also opting against Chinese gear makers, stating that ’there are no plans to use Chinese telecommunication equipment’. The company will use Nokia products for its new 4G network.