Deutsche Telekom Orders 5G Freeze pending Huawei ban decision

Deutsche Telekom has put a freeze on the awarding of 5G contracts to equipment vendors until the German government reaches a decision on whether to ban Huawei from future networks.

“In light of the unclear political situation, we are not currently entering into any 5G contracts — with any vendor,” a Deutsche Telekom spokesperson told Reuters.

Deutsche Telekom has launched 5G in a handful of German cities, with its rollout in Berlin based on a pilot project there with Huawei. It plans to expand coverage to 20 German cities next year.

Deutsche Telekom’s decision comes as senior members in the German government mounted fresh opposition against Huawei’s involvement in 5G deployments, calling for a ban on national security grounds.

Until now, the country appeared to be set to allow the company, which is already a key vendor in Germany, to sell 5G equipment to operators.

“We hope that we will get political clarity for Germany’s 5G buildout as soon as possible, so that we do not fall behind,” Deutsche Telekom said.

Deutsche Telekom declined to comment on specific meetings, nor would it say what share of its 5G investment budget Huawei could count on in future.

“It’s well known that Deutsche Telekom relies on multiple vendors for reasons of security,” the company said.

A Berlin-based spokesman for Huawei declined to comment.