SoftBank Group Corporation's Japanese telecom unit has chosen Nokia Oyj and Ericsson AB as their supplier for their next-generation wireless network, except supplier Huawei Technologies Co.
SoftBank Corp. as Nokia as a strategic partner for its 5G rollout and Ericsson as a provider of radio access network equipment, the companies said in separate releases. Huawei, which together with ZTE Corp. was a 4G supplier for the Japanese company, was not selected despite participating in previous 5G trials. SoftBank refused to comment further.
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has targeted Huawei for several months, first urging allies to ban the Chinese company's equipment from their networks and then putting Huawei on an export blacklist that prohibits it from buying US software and components.
Australia and New Zealand have banned Chinese Developed Equipment in their networks, while Japan has said it will rule out equipment with security risk without making an official decision on Huawei.
Local media has reported that the country's three largest carriers ̵[ads1]1; NTT Docomo Inc., SoftBank and KDDI Corp. – will capture both Huawei and ZTE.
"You can also expect Docomo and KDDI to follow," said Masahiko Ishino, analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center. "So SoftBank won't be at the expense of the downside."
The telephone companies are also scratching plans to sell Huawei phones as the effect of the US supply ban is spreading. The Chinese company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The UK's BT Group PLC announced plans to remove Huawei equipment from the core of the cellular network, soon after the head of the country's foreign intelligence agency, MI6, warned of the risk of using Chinese equipment. Taiwan is already banning Chinese telecom equipment.
At a earnings meeting in February, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said it would cost about $ 5 billion ($ 46 million) to replace existing Huawei equipment in its network. At that time, Son said that the company considered all possibilities for 5G equipment.