Globe telecom moving away from Huawei over spying issue

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Telecom has begun moving away from Huawei as the tension between the US and other countries in the west and the Chinese company worsens.

Froilan Castelo, Globe Telecom general counsel, told the Senate committee on public services that the company’s board already started its negotiations with Huawei on replacing equipment supplied by the Chinese telco.

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Huawei was accused of spying the US and its allies.

“Because of these developments coming in from the US and Europe, we’re coming up with a strategy for another network which is based on non-Chinese telco equipment providers,” Castelo said.

He added 80 percent of the company’s equipment is from Huawei while the rest are “non-Huawei,” such as Ericsson and Nokia.

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Castelo, however, said the trend now in wireless connectivity is toward 5G, of which Huawei is leading by a year and a half compared to other service providers.

He added Globe already has an agreement with Huawei for its 5G rollout, noting that 5G is “very relevant” to the Philippines as an archipelago.

“But just the same, we have already assured the US government, and the US embassy, for that matter, that network security is our concern. We are primarily responsible for network security, and Huawei is merely an equipment provider. And we are totally responsible for it,” Castelo said.

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Globe Telecom moving away from Huawei over spying issue

The Globe official assured that they have network security advisers from Israel and the US who regularly audit its network for any problem.

Castelo also said Huawei has assured Globe telecom that it has “locally grown” companies that could continue supplying equipment despite the US ban.

The President said during the fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he would coordinate with the Congress to remove Globe Telecom Inc. and Smart Communications Inc. from the industry if they would not improve their service by December.

Globe meanwhile responded to the President’s call saying they already invested billions of dollars in improving their services.

It said it had allocated $1.2-billion for its capital spending this year, mainly to fund its network and capacity build.

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