Deutsche Telekom intensifies partnership with Huawei: Handelsblatt

FILE PHOTO: A worker refurbishes a Huawei cell phone at a workshop of the Oxflo company in Lusignac, France, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/ Regis Duvignau/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom has intensified its business relationship with China’s Huawei despite security authorities’ warnings, Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing internal documents.

Deutsche Telekom, which operates in a dozen European markets, relies heavily on equipment from Huawei. Berlin has been resisting U.S. calls to exclude the Chinese company from its telecoms networks on national security grounds.

The German group has depended on Huawei as a supplier for its 5G network and broadband expansion, cloud service and television offering and the two firms had agreed to increasingly rely on “U.S.-free” network components for Telekom’s 5G network, the newspaper said.

Telekom had also asked Huawei to give it a technological edge in Germany over its competitors to secure a leadership in 5G network, Handelsblatt reported.

A spokesman for Deutsche Telekom denied any special dependency on Huawei and the Chinese firm declined to comment on details, but said the company had never hid its close relationship with Telekom, Handelsblatt reported.

Deutsche Telekom has argued against any blanket bans on foreign vendors of telecoms network equipment, saying it would reduce its flexibility.

Last month, the German government said it would not agree rules on installing components in the future 5G mobile communications network until at least September.

Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Edward Taylor

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