Friday, 14 February 2020 20:43

Canadian telco Telus to use Huawei gear for first-stage 5G rollout Featured

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Canadian telco Telus to use Huawei gear for first-stage 5G rollout Pixabay

Canadian telecommunications operator Telus has announced that it will start rolling out its 5G network soon and the initial module will be with equipment from Chinese provider Huawei Technologies.

The company's chief financial officer, Doug French, was quoted as saying: "It’s important for us to launch our network when the time is right...”, according to a Reuters report.

French added that the company was collaborating with Ottawa in building its 5G ecosystem.

Almost exactly a year ago, Telus and Huawei tested a fixed wireless service using 5G technology in the former's "Living Lab" in Toronto.

At the time, Huawei said: "“It is compliant with the global 5G 3GPP standard and is believed to be the first trial of its kind in North America, and among the first globally."

The test was said to have worked in the 28 GHz band with 800 MHz of bandwidth, using technologies including massive MIMO, F-OFDM and Polar Code.

Ibrahim Gedeon, chief technology officer of Telus, said of the test: "This trial represents continued progress toward the launch of 5G, as we start to replicate both the in-home experience and network footprint we will see when 5G becomes commercially available in the near future."

Canada is yet to make a statement on its use or otherwise of Huawei equipment for its 5G networks. The country has been under a great deal of pressure from its neighbour, the US, to ban the Chinese firm from participation.

Adding to the pressure on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Telus issued a warning that its 5G rollout would cost much more if it was banned from using Huawei gear.

Under pressure from the US, Canada in 2018 detained Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on charges of allegedly violating domestic US export sanctions.

Meng has been in Canadian custody since December 2018. China has detained two Canadian nationals in what appears to be a tit-for-tat act.

The US has been trying for some time to get countries it considers allies to ban Huawei from 5G rollouts. Australia and Vietnam have fallen in line and said so in public.

Countries like Japan, South Korea and Poland have indicated that they would toe the US line but have yet to make public pronouncements.

A fortnight ago, the UK said it would allow Huawei to supply up to 35% of gear for the non-core parts of its 5G networks. All three British 5G providers have used the company's equipment in non-core parts of their networks in keeping with a May 2019 decision made by the government, then led by Theresa May.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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