Preferred 5G suppliers are European . . .
The Vietnamese government plans to have 5G networks in the country up and running next year. The country’s mobile carriers, including the dominant state-owned Viettel, are considering Nokia and Eriksson as suppliers of 5G equipment rather than Huawei.
Why not Huawei?
Even though the Vietnamese government has not officially banned Huawei, experts suggest Hanoi has quietly signaled to Viettel that it should not work with the Chinese giant, with security concerns the likely reason. And tensions remain in the bilateral relationship, including overlapping claims in the South China Sea, Vietnam suspecting China was behind 2016 cyberattacks against Vietnamese airports, and memories of the brief war between the two in 1979. Nonetheless, Vietnam has avoided publicly opposing Huawei; China is its number one trading partner.
The Huawei dilemma . . .
The Huawei 5G dilemma is not limited to Vietnam. The South Korean government has avoided an official ban on Huawei, but the country’s two major mobile carriers have skirted collaborating with the Chinese company. In the Philippines, however, President Rodrigo Duterte has welcomed Huawei in spite of resistance from a military that favours working with the U.S. Meanwhile, reports suggest Canada will not make a decision on whether to allow Huawei into its 5G network until after the federal election in October. We are not the only ones treading carefully.