Huawei seems to be the appealing choice for 5G network deployment in Europe. A senior US official says that 5G rivals in Europe are comparable to Huawei in 5G deployment.
Huawei 5G rivals in Europe comparable to Chinese giant, official says
US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Robert Strayer says that Huawei's 5G rivals in Europe are comparable to Huawei's own 5G telecom equipment. Those rivals include Ericsson, Nokia, and even Samsung. Other parties looking to enter the telecom race include Juniper, VMWare, Cisco, and Dell.
"The good news is Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung all provide 5G technology that is on par with the one Huawei is providing today. They are leading the world in the type of technology they have," Strayer says.
Are Huawei rivals comparable to the Chinese giant?
The million-dollar question is as follows: are there any 5G rivals comparable to Huawei in 5G deployment? The answer, however, depends on what one means by "comparable." If by the word "comparable" one means that other 5G companies can roll out a secure 5G network, the answer is yes. 5G technology will work, regardless of which company is responsible for its deployment. Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung have yet to emerge with troubling security reports as Huawei has.
If by "comparable" one means companies that are researching at the level of Huawei, the answer is no. If one is referring to companies that spend as much in 5G as Huawei, the answer is no.
Samsung: One of Huawei's most formidable 5G rivals in Europe
Take Samsung, for example. Samsung has the workforce of a nation on its own. The company ships over 300 million phones annually and releases more phones a year than any other Android OEM. When one considers Samsung's size and production capabilities, the Korean giant is the most formidable foe to take on Huawei in the 5G segment. More than anyone, Samsung can match Huawei and even surpass it in the space. LG boasts that it holds more 5G patents in the US than either Huawei or Samsung, but it couldn't compete with its rivals on a global scale.
Samsung invests as much as $15 billion in 5G annually, with Huawei matching it. The Korean OEM holds 2,846 5G patents from last year. The company comes in second only to Huawei for 2019 5G patent filings, with Huawei filing 3,325 5G patents last year.
Ericsson and Nokia: not so much
Ericsson and Nokia are two companies competing with Huawei globally that are losing to the Shenzhen OEM in the telecom space. These two international companies don't possess the money, manpower, or production ability to keep up with Huawei's telecom gear production. That makes both companies a bit of a problem when it comes to investing in them to take on Huawei's hegemony in 5G deployment.
These two companies struggle in telecom gear production so much that Trump desires to invest in both to ward off Huawei. Huawei is such a 5G giant that neither Ericsson nor Nokia can defeat Huawei singlehandedly. And yet, there is some promise for them. Nokia is starting to catch the attention of Canada. With Huawei in a US ban and its CFO and CEO daughter, Meng Wanzhou, under arrest and possible extradition, Canada is entering into a $40 million deal with Nokia to develop 6G wireless. That's interesting when one considers that Huawei is already researching 6G wireless in Ottawa, right in Canada's backyard.
Decisions, Decisions: Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson, or all three?
The decision(s) is a hard one. It's obvious that Huawei, the current winner of the 5G market, is a threat to international security. Samsung, Nokia, and Ericsson are all alternatives to Huawei that could level the odds in 5G deployment. And yet, Samsung seems to be the most capable of all three.
To go with Samsung, though, could lead to another hegemony in the market. The US says that it wants to level the playing field so that one company doesn't control the market. Investing in Ericsson and Nokia, then, appears to be a wise decision. However, for all its investment, there is a price to pay. The US could go with Samsung while investing in Ericsson and Nokia to catch up. If it does, though, small US and global carriers could go with Samsung because the company is a trusted name worldwide. That would leave Nokia and Ericsson without clientele and American investment would be a waste. If Ericsson and Nokia emerge as the two go-to alternatives, their weaknesses in production and scale would move the US to go with Samsung to meet the telecom equipment needs of small carriers.
Going with all three appears to be the easiest solution to the problem, but it may still prove problematic in the end. Samsung has the money, production, and scale to emerge as the clear winner by a landslide.