Thailand launches 5G test bed with Huawei equipments, going against US advice

by Simran Singh 0

Huawei, ZTE, Qualcomm and a few other companies are the big players in the 5G technology field. Many companies are partnering with different countries in testing new 5G technologies. Among them, Huawei is facing problems in some countries due to the US ban on using their equipment. Moreover, the US has even urged its allies to restrict from using the Huawei 5G equipment while testing the new technology.

In an advancement, US oldest ally in Asia, Thailand has joined hands with the Huawei for 5G testbed. Despite sustained pressure from the US for not using the Huawei equipment, Thailand is doing the exact opposite. It will be the Chinese company’s first testing in Southeast Asia. Although, Thailand is also concerned about security and has said that cooperation does not mean that they are not looking into the security issues.

“We keep a close watch on the allegations worldwide. However, this 5G testbed project is a testing period for the country,” Pichet, Thailand Minister of Digital Economy added. “We can make observations which will be useful to either confirm or disconfirm the allegations.”

While talking about the new 5G test bed at Kasetsart University’s Sriracha campus in central Chonburi Province, Pichet said that the government is quite concerned about the allegations on Huawei. Moreover, other companies like Nokia, Ericsson, and Thai telecoms operators are also working at the same site for 5G technology. Thailand is working onto bringing the commercial 5G services by 2020. Currently, it is leading the path to the latest technology alongside Singapore.

Pichet Duriongkaveroj further added that some Japanese telecom operators are also keen on working for 5G trial in the country.

US Embassy in Bangkok has said that the United States “advocates for secure telecoms networks and supply chains that are free from suppliers subject to foreign government control or undue influence that poses risks of unauthorized access and malicious cyber activity”. The spokesperson continued saying, “We routinely urge allies and partners to consider such risks and exercise similar vigilance in ensuring the security of their own telecoms networks and supply chains, including when awarding contracts,”

Huawei which rely on business from outside of China is mending ways to secure some contracts. Already they have secured more than 30 commercial 5G agreements globally. The Chinese company is also in talks with some telecom operators for local partnerships.

Although, Huawei representatives at the testing site refused to say anything on the matter.