Ericsson CEO argues against Sweden’s Huawei 5G ban

Borje Ekholm said Sweden's ban on Huawei Borje Ekholm would have a negative impact on free markets and competition

The boss of Ericsson has stated that moving ahead with the 5G ban of Huawei is harmful to both trade as well as free competition.

The head of Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm told the Financial Times, that while the company may directly benefit from the ban, the lack of competition may have adverse effects on the company’s evolution in the future.

“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,” Ekholm stated during his interview.

Ericsson, unlike Finnish counterpart and rival Nokia, has made headway into the competitive Chinese telecommunications market by winning three contracts from major operators in the Asian country. These contracts involve the supplying of radio equipment for 5G networks to the aforementioned operators.

The Swedish telecoms regulator, PTS, has recently ceased the process of 5G spectrum auctions. This came after Huawei’s exclusion from 5G networks in the country due to the government’s concerns over national security. Huawei are still pleading their case and denying the accusation and have since submitted an appeal to the decision.

“Think about 4G – the debate in Europe was: what is the killer app? The Americans and Chinese rolled out 4G fastest and the app economy for consumers is now dominated by American and Chinese firms,” Ekholm continued.

“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.”

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