The UK is moving ahead to allow Chinese telco provider Huawei a role in its 5G roll-out, and that has revived Huawei NZ's hopes of participation locally.
“We’re encouraged by the United Kingdom government’s decision to allow Huawei to continue supplying its world-leading 5G technology in the UK," said Andrew Bowater, deputy MD of Huawei NZ.
"This decision from a close ally, shows it’s time for the New Zealand government to engage with Huawei and New Zealand operators to find a way forward."
The UK, among all the five eyes security partners, has been the one most engaged on a technical level with Huawei.
The company will be banned from supplying to the core of the networks and will be limited to supplying 35 per cent of the gear in a periphery, including radio masts.
It will also be excluded from supplying in areas near military bases and nuclear sites.
The local arm of Huawei has been hanging out for the UK decision to drop. However, local telcos Vodafone and Spark are already advancing their own roll-outs, mainly by teaming up with Nokia.
"After thorough investigation, this evidence-based decision will give the UK more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecommunications infrastructure that is fit for the future," Bowater said.
"It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and we want this for New Zealand too."
Bowater said the types of restrictions around access to the core of the network in the UK were exactly what Huawei NZ suggested in New Zealand.
"We agree a diverse vendor market and fair competition are essential for network reliability and innovation," he said.
"This decision by the UK government proves yet again there is a way to manage security on 5G networks without excluding vendors simply because they are from a certain country."
Bowater said 5G "done in the right way" was an immense opportunity for New Zealand and Huawei's technology was "the best in the market".
"Huawei is an open book. We want to work with the New Zealand government to find a solution so that the country doesn’t have to compromise on competition or quality.”
Globally, he said Huawei now has more than 65 5G deals and 60 per cent of these were in Europe.