Contrary to any kind of restriction on device manufacturers for 5G networks, phone operators are defending the proliferation of a technological standard that enables communication between the devices of their different suppliers.
For example, this move would prevent telecom companies from being forced to switch all devices, especially Huawei’s 3G and 4G devices currently operating on the networks, in the event that the Chinese company is banned from 5G by President Jair Bolsonaro.
The operators estimate that in some cases their networks work with Huawei devices (servers, routers, switches) up to 60%.
There is no way for them to go to auction frequencies for the fifth generation without the government setting the standard to be used “responsibly” in Brazil, as a senior executive at these operators says.
In an interview with Folha, Huawei do Brasil President Sun Baocheng said that 5G will cost more in the country and its full benefits would only be achieved in up to four years if his company is banned.
This is because their devices from previous technologies are not communicating with competitive 5G devices.
For the user, this is irrelevant as he can talk anywhere regardless of whether his plan is 3G or 4G. Today, if he is in the coverage area of an antenna powered by 4G and his plan is 3G, the device will automatically make the transition so the user stays connected.
This is due to the fact that in the past international bodies, in cooperation with the operators, stipulated that devices from all manufacturers should speak to one another, especially telephones.
This standard has not yet been defined with 5G. In Brazil, Vivo and Tim argue that it is “Stand Alone”, an advancement of the fifth generation technology currently being installed in countries that are already selling 5G plans.
Another banner defended by telecommunications companies is the introduction of an open RAN. This model allows multiple suppliers to be used in the different phases of each network layer. It would be possible to use Cisco or Dell servers, Ericsson or Nokia radios and various software.
The Japanese NEC is one of the big defenders of this model and has already provided lines of credit in Brazil for operators interested in adopting this solution.
“This is a model that gives operators more flexibility,” he told Folha Ângelo Guerra, Executive Vice President of NEC in Brazil. “Instead of being tied to a limited group of suppliers, you can choose from multiple manufacturers.”
It is much better for businesses to have a wide range of suppliers, especially with 5G. As the new technology offers solutions for the cellular network such as telemedicine and industrial automation, it is important to use devices that accept specific software for each business area.
For example, a program using the network for agribusiness would examine network attributes differently than solutions for hospital services.
For big device manufacturers like Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia, this is not good business as they intend to make operators dependent on their devices and solutions on the 5G network.
This situation is similar to where the computing world in the past introduced Linux, an open source operating system, to test Microsoft’s closed systems market.
Operators say there is no way to ban Huawei from 5G without that network having an open standard (standalone). Otherwise, they will have to replace the current 4G and 3G devices from Huawei with those from other manufacturers. They hope that this new standard won’t come out until late 2021.
In this case, they believe that they need to discuss some form of compensation for the investments already made, which will change the pricing of the bids in the 5G auction planned for June 2021.
They accept restrictions on Huawei in 5G but do not admit that the current networks, which are essentially equipped with Chinese devices, cannot communicate with the fifth generation networks built by competitors. This would lead to increased costs for consumers.
The movement of restrictions on China comes because the Brazilian government has allied itself with the President of the United States, Donald Trump, who is waging a commercial and geopolitical war with the Chinese.
This week representatives from the American government were in Brazil to discuss 5G.
The delegation, led by US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, raised a bag of $ 60 billion to fund operators interested in purchasing Ericsson and Nokia products.
The pressure caused the Chinese embassy in Brazil to speak out publicly.
In a hitherto unprecedented tough statement, the Chinese State Department reiterated Tuesday (20) that American politicians are meddling in normal economic and trade cooperation between Brazil and China.