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Smartphone without mobile phone reception: If antennas have to be replaced, there will be interruptions

Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand / dpa

According to Vodafone, a quick abandonment of mobile technology from Chinese providers will noticeably impair the stability and transmission quality in German mobile phone networks. An internal study has shown that in countries where there has been an unplanned, rapid exclusion of individual technology providers, there have been significant quality problems in the mobile networks, the company said on Thursday in Düsseldorf.

In the conflict over the use of mobile technology from Chinese providers such as Huawei and ZTE, the EU Commission called on EU countries in June to better protect their 5G mobile networks against providers that they consider to be risky.

The EU has succeeded in reducing dependencies in other areas, such as the energy sector, in record time, said EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton. "It should be no different with 5G: we cannot afford to perpetuate critical dependencies that could become a 'weapon' against our interests."

Breton called on all EU states and telecoms operators to take the necessary measures "without delay". The German government is also already working on concrete restrictions.

Call interruptions due to antenna replacement

Vodafone now points out that the consequences of a too quick renunciation would be felt over a longer period of time. "Even up to a year after the antennas have been replaced, the network quality can be negatively affected," the mobile phone provider explained. For example, in the countries that have changed quickly and unplanned, there have been significantly more breakdowns in conversations. Furthermore, it has been shown that the roll-out of 5th generation mobile radio networks (5G) has been significantly slowed down in most of these countries.

The head of technology at Vodafone Germany, Tanja Richter, referred to an evaluation of statistics from the European Commission in the so-called 5G Observatory report: In terms of 5G population coverage, the five countries that the Chinese equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE excluded or severely restricted as 5G suppliers of their national mobile network operators at an early stage ended up in the last places in terms of <>G population coverage: Estonia, Latvia, Belgium, Romania and Sweden.

The U.S., in particular, accuses Huawei and ZTE of having close ties to the Chinese government and has imposed sanctions on the companies. Huawei and ZTE deny the allegations.