Ericsson CEO is right – competition is key on 5G

Huawei Australia Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Jeremy Mitchell says that the comments from Ericsson global CEO Borje Ekholm in a Financial Times interview that vendors should not be banned from 5G without properly balancing national security concerns with free competition are a welcome injection of common sense.

In his interview with the Financial Times Mr. Ekholm said:

“For Ericsson and Sweden, we’re built on free trade. We’re built on the opportunity to trade freely . . . From my perspective it is important that we have open markets and free competition.

“I belong in that category that believes competition makes us longer term a better company. It may be painful shorter term but longer term it drives us to be more innovative and make better products for our customers.

“The Americans and Chinese rolled out 4G fastest and the app economy for consumers is now dominated by American and Chinese firms…5G is going to be the same but for enterprise. Slowing the rollout of 5G is a risk for the economy. Europe risks falling behind again.”

Mr. Ekholm also threw his support behind the European Union’s approach to 5G which discourages banning vendors on nationality grounds but instead urges member states to adopt an evidence-based approach founded on an independent testing process of vendors 5G kit.

“I do think that framework is a good one,” he said, adding that although Ericsson and Huawei are fierce competitors that the companies collaborate on crucial industry standards and that this should continue going forward as a matter of importance.

Jeremy Mitchell, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Huawei Australia said:

“We warmly welcome the comments made by Mr. Ekholm on the need for national security concerns to be balanced and managed properly with the aim of keeping open markets and free competition.

“The Malcolm Turnbull 5G ban on Huawei has meant that in terms of the current 5G market Ericsson has a near monopoly here in Australia that has already resulted in Telstra increasing their 5G prices for consumers by up to $15 per month.

“In addition, we also note Mr. Eklholm’s support for the non-discriminatory 5G testing and evaluation regime being developed by the European Union.

“However, we find it very disappointing that whilst Mr. Ekholm supports such an open approach to proper 5G vendor evaluation in Europe that Ericsson Australia has not supported such an approach locally and has, in fact, flatly opposed such an approach.

“We would encourage Ericsson Australia to take Mr. Ekholm’s comments on board and reflect on their own position for independent testing in Australia.

“Huawei has always been happy to have its hardware and software independently tested, we have nothing to hide. We have safely and securely been the largest provider of 4G in Australia.” 

“Huawei has always said that the Turnbull Government 5G ban would mean higher prices, inferior technology and a slower 5G rollout and Mr. Ekholm’s comments support our position.

“Research from Oxford Economics forecast that the 5G ban would cost local network operators around $300 million per year in increased 5G capex and mean up to three millions Aussies missing out on 5G – and that forecast is proving to be spot on.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

6th January 2021

Huawei 5G & LTE: First to Pass 3GPP’s…...

[Shenzhen, China, December 22, 2020] Huawei’s 5G RAN gNodeB and LTE eNodeB have passed the…...

22nd December 2020

How Australia could become a leader in Cyberspace...

In response to the call by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for…...

8th December 2020

Time to level the playing field for rural…...

Australian farmers and miners could become less competitive than their global rivals unless a national…...