Malaysian telcos will remain steady even if Huawei is banned

KUALA LUMPUR: As the tech war between the US and China’s Huawei spreads to other nations with bans on the company products, including smartphones entering certain markets, the operations of telecommunication companies () may not face a major disruption.

Frost and Sullivan senior vice president and Malaysia managing director Hazmi Yusof said if Malaysia too called for a halt in the use of Huawei technologies, it would not be disruptive or catastrophic.

“There are several using Huawei devices, but most, rely on more than one vendor to avoid being too dependent on any one,” he told Bernama.

He said the structure of the is such that they have contingency measures for a situation similar to this, which is often used to mitigate bankruptcy of an appointed vendor.

As for the 5G rollout where several telcos have signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with Huawei to foster its implementation, Hazmi said Malaysia had a long way to go based on today’s policies or regulations.

“If the Huawei ban spreads to Malaysia, we still have time to find another partner to implement the 5G rollout. This is the silver lining to this raging issue,” he pointed out.

According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Malaysia is expected to start using 5G by 2021 or 2022.

The same situation goes for industries that are at the phase of implementing digital transformation.

“Our industries are still going through the digital transformation stage to have a noteworthy impact,” said Hazmi.

Earlier this year, Maxis Bhd signed a MoU with Huawei to accelerate 5G implementation in the country, while several other telcos are using the Chinese tech giant’s modems and routers to transmit wifi signals.

When contacted, the telco representatives said there was yet any directive to halt using Huawei’s products.

Trade tensions between the US and China have escalated over the past week, with technology companies taking a direct hit and the US announcing a trade blacklist against Huawei.

Following this, several US-based tech companies, including Intel, Broadcom and Qualcomm stopped supplying components to Huawei. Google too abruptly rescinded Huawei’s Android licence.

Maxis on Tuesday said Huawei phones associated with its product offerings were unaffected by Google cutting off Huawei’s Android licence.

“At this point, the ban does not have an impact on our Huawei phone offerings. Customers are still able to buy a Huawei phone of their choice with any of Maxis’ plans.

“Huawei has also assured its customers that existing products are unaffected and customers can continue using its services as usual,” the company said in a statement.

Several countries have joined the US in sanctioning Huawei’s products, citing security concerns and it includes Australia, while the United Kingdom and Japanese telcos have paused launches of Huawei phones.

It was also reported that South Korea was being urged by the US to not use Huawei products in the republic, citing security concerns.

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