U.S. Secretary of State names non-Huawei telcos he considers ‘clean’

In his attacks against Huawei, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went so far as to issue a statement today listing service providers around the world whom he considers “Clean Telcos” because they don’t use equipment from Huawei.

“The tide is turning against Huawei as citizens around the world are waking up to the danger of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state,” stated Pompeo. “Huawei’s deals with telecommunications operators around the world are evaporating because countries are only allowing trusted vendors in their 5G networks. Examples include the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Romania, Denmark, and Latvia. Recently, Greece agreed to use Ericsson rather than Huawei to develop its 5G infrastructure.”

He named various telecom operators around the globe that he considers “Clean Telcos,” including Orange in France, Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK and KT in South Korea, NTT in Japan, and O2 in the United Kingdom. 

Pompeo's proclamations have, not surprisingly, garnered tons of vitriol on social media. The terms "clean" and "unclean" when used to describe a particular country or race have a history associated with discrimination.

Pompeo added that a few weeks ago, the big three telecommunications companies in Canada “decided to partner with Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung, because public opinion was overwhelmingly against allowing Huawei to build Canada’s 5G networks.”

Telefónica’s CEO José María Álvarez-Pallete López recently said, “Telefónica is proud to be a 5G Clean Path company. Telefónica Spain and O2 (UK) are fully clean networks, and Telefónica Deutschland (Germany) and Vivo (Brazil) will be in the near future without equipment from any untrusted vendors.”

RELATED: Rakuten Mobile’s new U.S. general manager talks about her plans

Rakuten Mobile could benefit from the U.S. government’s attacks against Huawei and ZTE. The Japanese greenfield mobile operator is establishing a new office in the United States led by Azita Arvani. Rakuten Mobile plans to sell its Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) to operators in the Americas.

The RCP is comprised of all the learnings Rakuten Mobile compiled while it was building its new 4G network in Japan. RCP modules are built with common-off-the-shelf hardware and open software.

Rakuten’s RCP could become a contender to traditional vendors, not only Huawei, but possibly to Ericsson and Nokia, as well.