Panasonic joins firms stepping away from Huawei after US ban

Panasonic joins firms stepping away from Huawei after US ban

BT-owned network EE was the first to announce that it would be pulling Huawei phones from its 5G selection, with the service to be turned on in 16 United Kingdom cities this year, starting May 30.

Meanwhile, the British firm ARM, which designs processors used in most mobile devices, is also said to be set to suspend ties with Huawei.

KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. have both said they will put off sales of Huawei's new smartphone models for their Au and Y!mobile services respectively, which were initially scheduled to begin later this month.

Matthew Howett, a mobile analyst with research firm Assembly, said: "To convince consumers to make the leap from 4G to 5G, it's important to communicate that it's more than just about speed".

EE confirmed to The Reg that it continues to use Huawei's kit in the Radio access network (RAN) including in the 5G deployment.

Users were already regularly achieving speed of 500Mbps in tests networks, Allera said, adding that he was confident speeds of 1Gbps would be reached by the end of the year.

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EE chief executive Marc Allera was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that the company had "paused" the launch of Huawei's 5G phones as it did not have the "surety of service" it needed to offer long term contracts.

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But Mr Howett thinks that a ban on Huawei could be problematic, not just for EE but for all the UK's operators, because it is in a significant part of their networks. Pricing starts at a fairly eye-watering 54 pounds per month for the lowest 5G plan with 10GB of data.

However, BT-owned EE joined rival Vodafone in pulling a Huawei smartphone from its 5G launch line-up because of uncertainty about support by Google's Android after a US move to block the Chinese firm's access to its technology.

The 5G news keeps on rolling this morning - Vodafone has now been in touch to say it is bizarrely cancelling a 5G launch event scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) in London "due to the ongoing media agenda".

Launches next year will include Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton.

EE is planning to add 100 new 5G sites each month.

"We've had to hold that back", he said.

The block means Google will stop supplying its Android operating system, which powers Huawei phones, to the company's new devices. It has also withdrawn Huawei's 5G-enabled Mate 20X - from its line-up of phones.

O2 confirmed earlier this year that it will launch its 5G network at some point in 2019.

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