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Thread: #Vietnam shuns #Huawei as it seeks to build Southeast Asia’s first 5G network - It is an outlier in Southeast Asia, where the #Philippines, #Thailand and #Malaysia are open to deploying Huawei technology - An example to others @Aryanwarlord scmp.com/news/asia/sout…
Vietnam is quietly siding with the Trump administration, which has barred Huawei from buying US technology over national security concerns. Vietnam is intent on being the first Asean nation to provide a 5G network – without China’s tech powerhouse Huawei.
Viettel Group, Vietnam’s largest mobile carrier owned by the defence ministry, will deploy Ericsson AB’s equipment in Hanoi and Nokia Oyj’s technology in Ho Chi Minh City, said Viettel chief executive officer Le Dang Dung.
It will use 5G chipsets from Qualcomm and another US company. The carrier, which uses Ericsson and Nokia for its 4G network, is also developing its own equipment, he added.
“We are not going to work with Huawei right now,” Dung said in an interview at the company’s Hanoi headquarters. “It’s a bit sensitive with Huawei now. There were reports that it’s not safe to use Huawei.
So Viettel’s stance is that, given all this information, we should just go with the safer ones. So we choose Nokia and Ericsson from Europe.” Vietnam’s smaller carriers appear to be shying away from Huawei, as well.
MobiFone is using Samsung equipment while Vietnam Telecom Services Company, or Vinaphone, entered into a partnership with Nokia to deploy its 5G network, according to local media.
“I think Huawei is having difficulties in Vietnam right now, since other companies don’t use them as well,” said Dung, whose carrier has about 60 million customers in the nation of about 96 million people.
“Vietnam can’t trust China,” said Le Hong Hiep, a fellow at the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. “They can’t risk their critical infrastructure just because they offer something cheaper than other companies.”
Vietnam has another reason to avoid Huawei technology: its desire to increase security and economic ties with the US, said Carl Thayer, emeritus professor with the University of New South Wales in Australia.
Deploying the Huawei 5G infrastructure could make the US reluctant to share some intelligence with Vietnam, he added.
“The US is putting pressure on every country not to get involved with Huawei,” Thayer said.
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