Ericsson Chief Ekholm Warns Telecoms, Leaders to Avoid 'Fragmented Internet' Amid US-China Tech War

© AP Photo / Bela Szandelszkyengineer checks network telecommunication cables
engineer checks network telecommunication cables - Sputnik International
Banning telecom vendors from national networks would lead to the breakup of telecom markets and worsen efforts to innovate products among reduced competition, execs from some of the world's top telecoms said in multiple statements this week.

Global authorities were urged to avoid a major split in the global telecoms industry, Ericsson chief executive Borje Ekholm said in a key speech at an event on Wednesday.

Such divisions in the 5G ecosystem could become a major stumbling block in innovation and restrict applications in 5G, he said at the Ericsson Unboxed 2020 event.

“We believe countries need to combine the consideration of national security with…openness for trade," Ekholm said, speaking on the need for competition in global telecom innovation and danger of national 5G bans on specific vendors.

Such bans would "fragment the market" as many telecoms used global standards on 5G "with more than 8bn interoperable connections", he said as quoted by Mobile World Live.

“This has provided massive opportunities for innovation. I would really hope we can keep this together and not end up with a fragmented internet,” he added.

The news comes amid comments from Orange deputy chief executive and head of Europe, Mari-Noelle Jego-Javeissierie, who said that her company would keep Huawei as a key partner and restated it would maintain all tower assets in the region.

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orange - Sputnik International
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Orange had "no issue" with the Chinese telecoms giant, she said, speaking to Mobile World Live, adding it was also vital to have an open portfolio of vendors “to make sure that none of the external constraints” would cause problems.

Despite this, the French telecom would comply with regulations in its respective markets and was in a good position to swap kit from the Chinese tech giant should it be faced with tougher restrictions from Paris.

The comments were made ahead of Huawei's TrustInTech Summit 2020 on Thursday, which saw numerous company execs, businesspeople and academics call on global authorities to work jointly on emerging tech, including 5G networks.

Ryan Ding, Huawei executive director of the board and president of Carrier BG, said at the time rising tech nationalism was fragmenting the global ecosystem into "camps" to maintain dominance in technology, deepening mistrust in the industry.

Ryan Ding, Huawei executive director of the board and president of Carrier BG, speaks at the Huawei TrustInTech Summit 2020 on 10 December - Sputnik International
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The news comes as the world's largest IT equipment provider faces a blanket ban in the United Kingdom and a potential exclusion from 5G mid-band spectrum auctions in Sweden, with both countries citing national security risks.

Huawei has repeatedly denied that its products can be used to spy for the Chinese government, following accusations from the Trump administration, who blacklisted the firm along with over 70 Chinese tech companies in May last year.

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