There is a “historic” opportunity for Greece and Cyprus to take the lead in the rollout of 5G technology in southeastern Europe, a Huawei official has told EURACTIV.com.
Anastasios Bikos, a Huawei 5G cybersecurity architect, said both countries came out of a tough economic crisis but 5G technology offers enormous opportunities.
“It’s a tremendous historic opportunity for Greece and Cyprus to take the lead in investing in new revolutionary 5G digital technologies…the faster they do it the more new jobs will be created and get access to the 21st-century broadband technologies,” he said.
When it comes to 5G know-how, Bikos said Huawei is 18 months ahead compared to its competitors.
“Greece and in Cyprus, we are able to make the transition from 4G to 5G more effectively and efficiently. We participate in the public debate on the issue and we welcome the efforts of the governments and regulatory bodies of both countries,” Bikos said.
The Huawei official said in Greece the first two pilot trials of the 5G Protocol already took place with success, one in Athens and another one in Kalamata, where the speed almost reached the optical fibre level.
He added that the launch of the 5G spectrum will be completed by the end of 2020 and the first commercial use cases will begin by the end of 2021 in both countries.
The Chinese tech giant started investing in Greece in 2005 and currently holds over 50% of the market share in telecommunications equipment.
“We provide two-thirds of the Greek population with our equipment,” he said.
US-China trade war
Citing national security concerns, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in May to bar US imports of equipment produced by Huawei. The US Commerce Department said Huawei would also be forbidden to buy from US companies, some of which produce computer chips Huawei needs for its own products.
China slammed the US move and threatened to take steps to protect its companies, in a further test of ties as the economic heavyweights clash over trade.
Asked about the stance of some EU member states of the 5G deployment in light of the ongoing US-China tension, Bikos said Huawei does not want to take part in the bilateral trade war.
“It is a matter of bilateral relations between the United States of America and China,” he said, adding all US accusations against Huawei are groundless.
According to Bikos, investing in 5G will create 22 million new jobs and a total of $12.3 trillion increase in global economic activity by 2035 while global GDP is expected to increase by 0.2%.
“No political issue should delay the 5G deployment. No one will benefit from that, neither Europe,” he added.
The EU cybersecurity
Referring to Europe’s push for boosting cybersecurity through an enhanced role for Greece-based ENISA, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, he said an EU-wide certification framework for information and communication technology products was needed..
“All stakeholders must work together and be open, including us, suppliers, providers, governments and regulators. 5G is an ecosystem and for its security, all stakeholders should work together,” Bikos said.