Japan’s SoftBank to replace Huawei equipment, Nikkei reports

Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank will be replacing its hardware from Chinese tech giant Huawei in its 4G telecommunications network infrastructure over the next few years — and will instead be using equipment from Ericsson and Nokia, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Thursday.

SoftBank is also expected to place orders with the two European companies for its 5G networks, Nikkei reported. SoftBank is the only telecom carrier in Japan that uses Huawei equipment, according to the news outlet.

The 5G network is the next telecommunications standard that facilitates quicker transfer of data, and allows more devices to connect to the internet.

“It’s extremely important to avoid buying equipment that includes malicious functions like stealing or destroying information or halting information systems,” Nikkei reported Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as saying.

SoftBank’s decision comes days after reports that the Japanese government is planning to stop buying equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE for its offices and military forces.

SoftBank’s latest move reflects rising concerns about security leaks and other issues.

Last week, British multinational telecoms company BT confirmed it has been removing Huawei equipment from the core of its 3G and 4G networks since 2016, and will be excluding the Chinese company when selecting vendors for its 5G core.

Australia and New Zealand have also banned Huawei from participating in building their 5G networks.

Read Nikkei Asian Review’s story on SoftBank’s decision to remove Huawei equipment.

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