British telecoms giant EE will this month become the first operator in the country to launch a 5G network but will do so without Huawei technology as originally planned, it said on Wednesday.
EE had announced earlier that it would bring Huawei’s first 5G phone, the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, to Britain, but the Chinese giant’s involvement in the United Kingdom’s telecoms industry has become politically controversial.
EE chief executive Marc Allera was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that the company had “paused” the launch of Huawei’s 5G phones as it did not have the “surety of service” it needed to offer long term contracts.
“We’ve had to hold that back,” he said.
Google said this week that it was beginning to cut ties between its Android operating system and handset maker Huawei, affecting hundreds of millions of smartphone users.
The decision comes in the midst of a United States trade war with China.
BT-owned EE on Wednesday said it would begin the rollout of the new, high-speed mobile network on May 30, initially in six cities: London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester.
It said it planned to reach 1 500 sites by the end of 2019.
Allera said the launch would help “keep the UK at the forefront of digital technology”.
© Agence France-Presse