Vodafone 'pauses' use of Huawei equipment over security concerns

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"We are grateful to Vodafone for its support of Huawei and we will endeavor to live up to the trust placed in us", he said.

The decision by Vodafone places more pressure on Huawei, which has seen its hardware blocked by several phone networks around the world in recent months following growing concern over the business' closeness to the Chinese government.

There's no question that this represents a huge rout for anyone else launching at MWC - there's little sign of anyone else debuting a 5G AND foldable device, though many will be launching one or the other.

Vodacom said "the privacy and security of all our customers remains a key priority" across the group.

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"The quality and security of our service is of the upmost importance to Siro and we work closely with all of our suppliers to ensure the highest standard of security" the spokesman said. Ding Wei, managing director of Huawei said that the company's development of 5G technology is "unimaginable".

"MTN is monitoring this matter and will continue to operate in the very best interests of all our stakeholders, across our markets", she said.

Polish authorities arrested a Huawei sales director along with a Polish cybersecurity expert this month on charges of spying for China, fueling espionage concerns.

Huawei has about a 35% market share in Europe, making it an important player in the industry. Huawei is also a major supplier of equipment for less-sensitive radio-access network components on mobile masts.

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A charity founded by Britain's Prince Charles said on Thursday it's not accepting any more donations from Huawei, the latest setback for the Chinese telecom giant as it battles allegations it's a cybersecurity risk. Those efforts are now under threat if European governments decide to curtail its use.

Huawei's smaller Chinese rival, ZTE Corp., was almost driven into bankruptcy past year after the Washington cut off access to USA technology over its exports to Iran and North Korea.

He cited an "unhealthy level of noise" around Huawei as the reason for the move.

Carriers are reluctant to pivot away from Huawei unless forced as it has spurred competition, driving down equipment costs.

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