Huawei security row overshadows annual telecoms gathering

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Leading telecoms companies gather in Barcelona this weekend for their main annual trade fair under the shadow of a bitter clash between the United States and China over network security for the next generation of mobile services.

Accusations from US President Donald Trump’s administration that Huawei, the world’s biggest network equipment maker, has enabled Chinese state espionage have shaken the industry and raised broader fears for progress in talks to defuse a rumbling trade dispute.

Aside from hosting snazzy device launches and officials from more than 2 400 companies, mobile industry trade body GSMA is seeking to ward off a ban on Chinese vendors in European markets.

GSMA Marketing Director Andrew Parker said the association would lobby to protect competition in the supply chain.

“The more choice the industry has, the more supply, the better value everyone will get,” Parker said.

“We are going to stick to, and encourage, that line because competition is a good thing for an industry like ours.”

Australia and New Zealand have stopped operators using Huawei equipment in their networks, and the European Commission is considering a de facto ban.