T-Mobile Can’t Be Trusted To Develop 5G Without Huawei

For Immediate Release: January 29, 2019
Press Contact: Regan Page at [email protected]


Protect America’s Wireless: T-Mobile Can’t Be Trusted To Develop 5G Without Huawei

If T-Mobile’s Parent Company Still Defends Huawei — How Can We Ever Take T-Mobile’s Word That America’s 5G Network Would Be Built Without Huawei and Chinese Threat?


Protect America’s Wireless released the following statement following Bloomberg’s report that T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, is insistent on partnering with Huawei and is leading the charge against the efforts of European countries to stand up against Chinese cyber theft:

“This is truly a through the looking glass moment. T-Mobile says to trust them that they have no plans to involve Huawei in building America’s first 5G network, a national security sensitive imperative. But there’s no one in the wireless industry with a closer relationship to Huawei than Deutsche Telekom, which is defending Huawei against America’s closest transatlantic allies. Deutsche Telekom’s reliance on Huawei is so significant that abandoning the Chinese supplier would reportedly delay European 5G deployments by two years.

“For months, T-Mobile and Sprint have claimed their merger is the pathway to 5G. But it is increasingly obvious that pathway is paved with Huawei equipment. Deutsche Telekom will be the largest shareholder of the ‘new T-Mobile,’ owning 42 percent of shares. Given the close relationship between Deutsche Telekom and Huawei in Europe, US regulators cannot trust that the ‘new T-Mobile’ will not build 5G using Huawei components-- putting our national security at risk.

“Given this week’s Huawei indictments originating with theft of T-Mobile intellectual property, T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom should know better than anyone that we can’t trust Huawei. But instead of being the leaders of the boycott, Deutsche Telekom is now encouraging further use of Huawei products around the world.

“Deutsche Telekom’s insistence on using Huawei and defending Huawei demands much greater scrutiny. If Deutsche Telekom wants U.S. approval to buy Sprint and expand its presence in the United States, it must commit to abandoning Huawei everywhere it operates. The T-Mobile/Sprint merger should not be approved without verifiable conditions forbidding the use of Huawei equipment in the United States and around the world.”

Read the full report from Bloomberg below:


Bloomberg: Deutsche Telekom Warns Huawei Ban Would Hurt Europe 5G

By Patrick Donahue , Stefan Nicola , and Brian Parkin

January 29, 2019

Europe would fall behind the U.S. and China in the race to install the next generation of wireless networks if governments ban Chinese equipment supplier Huawei Technologies Co. over security fears, according to an internal assessment by Deutsche Telekom AG.

Officials at Europe’s largest telecommunication company have warned that removing Huawei from the list of suppliers of fifth-generation networks would delay roll-out of the technology by at least two years, said people familiar with a briefing paper written in recent weeks. The people asked not to be identified because the findings are confidential. A Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom spokesman declined to comment.

Germany and other European governments have been weighing whether to place restrictions on the use of Huawei equipment over concerns that Chinese intelligence could use it to spy on other countries, fears the company has dismissed.

The U.S. intensified the tension on Monday, when federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against Huawei, alleging it stole trade secrets from American rival T-Mobile US Inc. and committed bank fraud by violating sanctions against doing business with Iran. The move came before talks this week aimed at ending a U.S.-Chinese trade war, with Washington pushing Beijing to respect laws on intellectual property as it emerges as a technology power.

U.S. Ramps Up Huawei Fight With Iran, Trade-Secret Charges

The Deutsche Telekom paper shows how nervous Europe’s telecom industry has become that governments could throw its carefully-laid network expansion plans into chaos. Huawei has become a leading supplier to phone companies in the region as they prepare to spend billions of euros on 5G to cope with surging data demand and support potentially lucrative applications such as self-driving cars, smart appliances and connected factories.

Deutsche Telekom has installed Huawei systems in thousands of its wireless towers. The supplier’s technology also forms the backbone of some of the German company’s cloud products.

Deutsche Telekom shares rose 0.8 percent as of 9:01 a.m. in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

Dialing Back

In its internal assessment, Deutsche Telekom said 5G networks must be built on top of existing 4G infrastructure, which already relies extensively on Huawei gear. So if Huawei is banned outright and companies are forced to rip out all of its equipment, that would cost the industry many billions of euros, the people said.

Such a blanket, retroactive ban on using Huawei for 4G might be unlikely; bans in Australia and New Zealand, for example, have prohibited purchases of Huawei gear solely for 5G networks, which are viewed as harder to police as they process much of their data outside a central core.

Some telecom companies are already limiting work with Huawei as the pressure on the company grows, throwing their cooperation into doubt. Vodafone Group Plc said last week it is suspending some Huawei equipment purchases for the core of its networks in Europe. Deutsche Telekom said last month it’s re-evaluating its purchasing strategy -- a first indication the German carrier may drop the Chinese company from its list of suppliers.

Other countries including the U.S., Australia and New Zealand have blocked or limited the use of Huawei equipment in public infrastructure. The U.S. has especially raised pressure on German policymakers, with an American delegation dispatched to Berlin last month to make the case about risks posed by Huawei. Germany is weighing how to respond.

Dropping Huawei in Europe wouldn’t be easy. Most carriers have ordered its equipment because the technology is often seen as superior to that of its rivals. Competitors including Ericsson AB, Nokia Oyj, Cisco Systems Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. would have to step in if Huawei were to be banned, potentially leading to capacity constraints.