Canadian telcos tap Ericsson, Nokia for 5G equipment amid Huawei uncertainty

03 Juin, 2020, 21:19 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Equinix broadens its reach across Canada with $750M deal to buy 13 Bell data center sites

Ericsson, along with Nordic rival Nokia, also secured a contract from Telus Corp to sell 5G core products.

Regarding the Bell acquisition, Equinix President and CEO Charles Meyers said in a statement, "This expansion is a significant win for Canadian businesses, as well as for multinational companies that can leverage Platform Equinix to increase their digital presence in Canada by interconnecting to a rich ecosystem of customers, business partners and other strategic companies in Canada".

The Montreal-based telecom firm said in a press release Tuesday that it will use Ericsson equipment to build its next generation cellular network, known as 5G.

He added that Huawei's remains committed to Canada and looks forward to the federal government completing its 5G review and its decision about Huawei's role in Canada.

That is to say, if Huawei 5G equipment and software were to be banned in Canada over security concerns, Telus would likely seek compensation for the money and resources poured into this deployment before the Chinese company was made off limits.

Data center giant Equinix is set to acquire 13 data centers in Canada from Bell Canada, which is expected to generate more than $100 million in annual revenue and open new gateways for North America to Asia and Europe. We continue building new research partnerships with Canada's world-class universities.

Ericsson had earlier signed one of Canada's largest wireless carriers, Rogers Communications, as a 5G customer.

Analysts said Bell could be use proceeds from the sale for the next round of spectrum auctions, which will provide Canadian wireless networks with more of the frequencies they'll require for deploying fifth-generation services over the coming years.

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Bell said Ericsson will also support its rollout of 5G-enhanced fixed wireless home internet service to rural areas, which generally have less access to land-based fibre optics networks.

"We're working with multiple vendors to build our 5G network - as we did with our successful buildout of 4G LTE, which included Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and others", said Bell spokesperson Marc Choma in an email to BNN Bloomberg.

The announcements come a week after Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was dealt a setback by a Canadian court as she tries to avoid extradition to the United States to face bank fraud charges.

The Trump administration has lobbied allies to ban Huawei 5G, saying its equipment would make networks vulnerable to exploitation by the Chinese government.

Huawei started expanding its operations in Canada in the late 2000s and has been receiving government support, including over $22 million in grants from the Ontario government throughout the 2010s as well as tax credits from the federal government for R&D expenditures in Canada.

Aside from Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia, there are other companies that want a piece of the 5G network upgrades.

BNN Bloomberg is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE.

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