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Why doesn’t Huawei publish the details of its 5G deal wins?

Huawei says it has signed more 5G contracts than any of its competitors, but for some reason chooses not to publish any details.

This stands in stark contrast with Ericsson and Nokia, who both have publicly available web pages that not only offer a live total of their 5G deals wins (Ericsson says ‘commercial 5G agreements or contracts’ which seems a bit slippery), they also name as many of them as they have been authorised to and even detail how many live networks their kit is present in. Ericsson is especially transparent in that last regard.

Huawei has no publicly available information that we’re aware of, apart from ad hoc updates such as the one we reported on yesterday. We don’t know any of the operators it has signed 5G contracts with, nor how many live networks it is part of. Only in response to our specific questioning yesterday did we learn that the 91 number refers only to unique operator 5G RAN wins.

We asked Huawei why this is and were told that it’s up to their customers when the agreements are announced. The inference, then, is that none of its customers have given Huawei permission to go public, which seems odd. Or maybe not. It’s no secret that doing business with Huawei now has major geopolitical implications, so maybe all of its 5G partners want to keep that fact quiet, for fear of drawing the petulant attention of the US.

It’s hard to believe that not a single operator, for example the three Chinese MNOs, would want to go public. In fact Huawei execs were perfectly happy to name them when we asked about this yesterday, so why not publish? Vodafone’s European operations were also mentioned, so that’s a bunch of named wins already. And what about the other 24 wins in Asia, surely they’re not all scared of Trump.

The problem this creates for Huawei is that it helps bolster the US-driven narrative that a lack of transparency is reason enough to call all Huawei’s activities into question. We have written many times that Huawei deserves the same legal due process granted to everyone else, but it doesn’t help its cause when it chooses to be more opaque than its competitors over even minor matters such as this.

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6 comments

  1. Avatar Johannes 21/02/2020 @ 11:47 am

    Would operators be ready to comment about this themselves? I know for certain that, for example, Elisa in Finland uses Huawei and Nokia, but does their affiliate in Estonia use both too or just the other one?

    (For more info on what operators use what gear in Finland, http://www.mt-tech.fi has more info in general on radios etc. I’m not affiliated with said site though.)

  2. Avatar Asadh2 21/02/2020 @ 5:54 pm

    I think most of the gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Qatar and Oman have 5G from Huawei. In Oman it’s already up and running in some places. I think they are other European countries as well who have 5G from Huawei already. The reason they choose to not disclose this information is because the states probably has stronger relations with these nations and can derail future deals hence the US president is someone who is very unstable in decision making.

  3. Avatar Roos 23/02/2020 @ 3:06 am

    not published publicly, … thus will initiate Pompeo to travel along this list, spreidding slaunders against Huawei

  4. Avatar kimochunks 23/02/2020 @ 6:20 am

    I think that huawei chooses not to disclose all the 5g contracts to keep the US from interfering further. Yeah, this was addressed in the article, but it seems better that they dont reveal the specifics. Hell i wouldnt either if that crazy president is coming after me.

  5. Avatar Weihua 23/02/2020 @ 10:29 am

    Whatever China or Huawei does, US fearmongering will continues. That is clear

  6. Avatar Alan Tan 21/04/2020 @ 2:20 pm

    If Huawei announces, they’ll be facing more scrutiny by major powers, but if they don’t announce, they’re bring opaque.

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