Some Canadian telecoms carriers look set for an argument with their government over who should bear the costs of potentially removing Huawei equipment from the country’s 5G networks.
The affected companies have made it clear that they want compensation that could hit C$1 billion ($758 million) for dismantling and replacing their existing Huawei gear if the Canadian government announces a formal ban, Reuters reported Sunday, citing two sources.
However, the Canadian government has shrugged off the demand, asking the involved mobile carries to cut what it says are excessively high bills. “I’m not sure there is a solid legal case that we would have to compensate for making a proper national security decision,” said an unnamed government source, adding that the money should be spent on things that can drive economic growth especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Reuters.
In a February 2019 filing, Canadian telecoms firm Telus said that consumers would pay more for its services as a ban without compensation would increase the cost of its 5G network rollout.
Canada is still studying whether to give Huawei access to its 5G networks, making it the only member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, that includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S., that has not formally blocked the Chinese company from its next-generation wireless networks.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)