Daily Management Review

US is betting on Nokia and Ericsson to replace Huawei


The ongoing trade and political conflict between the United States and China, in particular the sanctions against Huawei, made both US authorities and American businesses try to find an alternative to the Chinese telecommunications company. According to British and Chinese media, European companies Nokia and Ericsson, as well as American Oracle and Cisco, can become such an alternative.

The US government is considering providing loans to Finnish Nokia and Swedish Ericsson to help them develop technologies and equipment designed to replace Chinese Huawei equipment, which has been sanctioned since last year. This was reported by the British FT, citing unnamed sources in the US government. Another source in the government added that "now the solution to this issue is one of the most difficult."

It is reported that some representatives of the administration asked Cisco and Oracle to begin active work in the market of radio frequencies for mobile equipment. However, according to unofficial sources, both American companies rejected this proposal, considering such work too costly and lengthy.

It is possible that the US authorities decided to bet on Nokia and Ericsson after representatives of the American business first contacted these companies for help. In late June, the Hong Kong South China Morning Post, citing unnamed sources, reported that more than a dozen US regional mobile operators are actively negotiating purchase of equipment for modern networks with representatives of the Finnish and Swedish companies. Among these operators, in particular, were mentioned Pine Belt Communications from Alabama and Union Wireless from Wyoming. It was also reported that American operators expressed hope that the American government would assist them in negotiations with the European companies. Nokia and Ericsson themselves then declined to comment.

At the same time, analysts interviewed by SCMP noted that Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE offered their equipment to American companies at prices that were 30–50% lower than their nearest competitors.

In turn, representatives of the regional operators themselves confirmed information on negotiations with European companies. Pine Belt Communications President John Nettles said he has been negotiating with Finns and Swedes since last year.

source: ft.com