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Globe stands by Huawei, keeps ties

Globe stands by Huawei, keeps ties

Globe Telecom is standing by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and will continue to sell its current handsets and use its network gear, as phone companies around the world start to downscale business ties after a trade blacklisting by the US government, company CEO Ernest Cu said.

Globe, whose relationship with Huawei stretches back a decade, credits much of its growth to the gear supplied by Huawei.

It is betting the Chinese giant’s technology will give it an edge as it nears the launch of pilot fifth-generation (5G) mobile services next month.

“We have a very extensive spending program this year, P63 billion, and the majority will be on Huawei equipment,” Cu said during a business forum on Thursday organized by Bloomberg News.

“Comparing apples to apples, we see a 12 to 18 month [lead] in their technology,” Cu later told reporters.

The US trade blacklist would cut off Huawei from crucial tech components and software, which it uses to make cutting edge products like computers and smartphones.

Cu said Huawei had given repeated assurance that their network rollout would not be disrupted, and that the Chinese company would no longer require parts and technology from the United States “in the near future.”

He brushed aside worries over Chinese government spying, saying there was no evidence and that Globe conducted regular cybersecurity audits.

For its part, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) sees the Huawei US ban as having “a little impact” on Philippine telcos.

“The local telcos have made pronouncements that they will diversify in their present and future procurements of equipment to make their networks more robust and future proof,” the DICT said in a statement.

Cu said Huawei had bigger problems in the smartphone business, now the second largest in the world after Samsung.

Cu did not share figures but he noted that Huawei, which shipped over 200 million smartphones last year, was also one of the hottest selling handset brands in Globe’s network.