German telecoms company Deutsche Telekom (DT), which provides fixed and mobile services in its domestic market via subsidiary Telekom Deutschland, has put all deals to buy 5G network equipment on hold, pending the resolution of a debate in Germany over whether to ban Chinese vendor Huawei on security grounds. ‘In light of the unclear political situation, we are not currently entering into any 5G contracts – with any vendor,’ Reuters cites a statement from DT as saying, adding: ‘We hope that we will get political clarity for Germany’s 5G buildout as soon as possible, so that we do not fall behind’.
Chancellor Angela Merkel had backed a proposed regulatory framework that would not impose blanket bans on any one provider but instead subject the technology and governance of all vendors to scrutiny, but senior lawmakers have objected and called for a tougher regime.
Telekom’s 5G network is already live in five cities – Berlin, Bonn, Darmstadt, Munich and Cologne – with Hamburg, Frankfurt and Leipzig set to follow by the end of this year, at which date 450 5G antennas will be live. By the end of 2020 the total is set to rise to 1,500 antennas.