The First 5G Test Bed In Southeast Asia By This Chinese Telecoms Giant
Thailand launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed on Friday, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks.
Huawei, the world's top producer of telecoms equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, has been facing mounting international scrutiny amid fears China could use its equipment for espionage, a concern the company says is unfounded.
The 5G test bed in Thailand, the United States' oldest ally in Asia, will be Huawei's first in Southeast Asia.
Thailand's cooperation with Huawei on the test bed does not mean it is not concerned about security issues, Minister of Digital Economy Pichet Durongkaveroj told Reuters at the launch.
"We keep a close watch on the allegations worldwide. However, this 5G test bed project is a testing period for the country," Pichet added. "We can make observations which will be useful to either confirm or disconfirm the allegations."
Pichet was speaking at the test site in Chonburi, the heart of the Thai military government's US$45 billion economic project - the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)- about 90 km (55.92 miles) southeast of Bangkok.
Vendors like Nokia, Ericsson and Thai telecoms operators have also set up 5G labs at the site.
Huawei, which gets nearly half of its revenue from outside China, says it has secured more than 30 commercial 5G contracts globally. But it has not yet signed a 5G contract in Thailand.
Huawei is in talks with telecoms operators, such as Advanced Info Service Pcl and TRUE, to secure local partnerships ahead of a national rollout scheduled for December 2020, industry sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Asked if the United States had reached out to Thailand about barring Huawei, Pichet said: "I have no knowledge of that".
Source : itnews