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Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s lawyers allege the records the U.S. government filed to back up its request for Canada to extradite her are “replete with intentional or reckless error,” and are asking for a stay of the proceedings. Chinese foreign ministry spokespeople claimed Meng’s detention was politically motivated, citing a CSIS report. (Reuters, CBC, The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The CSIS report showed the Canadian government expected a backlash to Meng’s detention, and the foreign ministry’s comments Monday named both Ottawa and Washington in the supposed political conspiracy. The U.S. and China are competing to set international standards in key technology areas like networking and AI. But U.S. firms were reportedly unclear on how much information they could share at 5G rule-setting forums in which Huawei was participating under existing restrictions, limiting their influence. Chinese tech stocks rose on news of the upcoming commerce-department order. Meanwhile, the federal innovation department is reportedly pushing Telus to remove Huawei equipment in its 4G network in Ottawa and Gatineau.

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The networks offer faster data speeds for users. Bell also created a research lab at Western University as well as a campus-wide 5G network. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Earlier this month, Bell announced it would work with Ericsson to build its 5G network but left the door open to using the lower-cost Huawei if the federal government permits it. The federal government has been considering whether to permit Huawei in its networks since September 2018. Rogers launched its own 5G network in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto earlier this year. The major telecoms had been trying to get suppliers in place ahead of the 3,500 Mhz spectrum auction, a key band for rural 5G deployments. Earlier this month Ottawa delayed that auction by six months to July 2021.

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Stockholm-based Ericsson will provide radio access network equipment for Bell’s 5G network, an initial version of which is ready, but has yet to be launched. Telus will work with Ericsson and Finland-based Nokia, which has already partnered with Bell. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Canada’s telecoms are forging ahead making deals with suppliers while they await a federal decision on whether to allow the use of Huawei’s technology in Canada’s 5G networks. Telus has previously said it would use equipment from the Chinese company in its 5G network; Bell has partnered with Huawei on 5G in the past, and on Tuesday it did not rule out a role for the company in its network. “Huawei has been a reliable and innovative partner in the past and we would consider working with them in 5G if the federal government allows their participation,” a company spokesperson said.

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Britain wants to forge an alliance with the “D10” network of like-minded democracies, including Canada, to seek out alternatives to Huawei in building 5G network infrastructure. The move comes as COVID-19 and Beijing’s proposed security law for Hong Kong have strained relations between Britain and China. (The Times, Bloomberg)

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Talking point: Britain’s proposed alliance would likely force Canada to decide on the use of Huawei technology in the country—a decision from which the government has studiously shied away, despite countervailing pressure from the U.S. on one side and China on the other. A recent B.C. Supreme Court decision against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has drawn China’s diplomatic ire, with its foreign ministry saying Canada is in cahoots with the U.S. to bring down the company.

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The Open RAN Policy Coalition will seek R&D funding and new standards so that more functions in the next generation of wireless networks can be handled virtually. Tech firms Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Google, Oracle and Cisco are members, as are telecommunications companies like AT&T, Verizon, Dish Network and Vodafone. (Axios)

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Talking point: Open RAN doesn’t specifically cite Huawei, but U.S. policymakers’ concerns about the Chinese network equipment manufacturer will be key to any success the group has. The White House has already pushed some coalition members to work on software that would allow 5G to run across hardware from different firms, including technology companies with less telecommunications experience. In January, senators from both parties backed a bill that would set aside at least US$750 million for such R&D.

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Dozens of rebel Tories voted against Prime Minister Boris Johnson and in favour of an amendment to ban “high-risk vendors” like Huawei from participating in the nation’s next generation of wireless technology infrastructure after 2022. The amendment was nonetheless voted down 306 to 282. (The Guardian)

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Talking point: The tension inside the U.K.parliament underscores the debate ongoing in North America over whether to allow the Chinese telecom giant in its 5G networks. Reuters reported on U.S. envoy Robert Blair’s plans to reiterate to Ottawa the “importance of a secure and reliable next-generation telecommunications infrastructure,” and of the defence partnership between Canada and U.S.; officials have previously warned it could cut Canada off from accessing top-secret intelligence if it didn’t ban Huawei’s 5G technology. On Friday, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains told the CBC the government “won’t get bullied by any other jurisdictions” into deciding one way or the other. When asked if he was referring to U.S. President Donald Trump, Bains rephrased, saying, “We won’t be influenced by other jurisdictions.” Ottawa is reportedly still months away from deciding whether to allow the firm in its networks.

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The company intends to launch the network by the end of 2020. (Financial Post)

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Talking point: Telus’s decision comes one week after SaskTel received provincial approval to buy Huawei equipment for its non-core 4G network. The two telecoms are moving ahead with Huawei despite warnings from Canadian and U.S. national security experts, who claim it poses a national security risk due to its connections with Chinese intelligence. The Canadian government has yet to decide whether it will impose restrictions on Huawei. Telus’s announcement comes the same day as its fourth-quarter earnings, in which it reported a 2.5 per cent quarterly revenue increase to $3.9 billion, and forecasted that revenue will grow six to eight per cent this year. Unlike competitor Rogers, which recently announced plans to increase its capital expenditure this year, Telus said it will spend $2.75 billion, a drop from $2.9 billion in 2019.

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Senior military leaders reportedly told the federal government they believe the telecom giant’s 5G equipment could be used for Chinese espionage and that it could jeopardize intelligence sharing among the Five Eyes, a group that also includes the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. (The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The military’s recommendations come amid growing calls from the U.S. for its allies to follow its lead in renouncing the company. In a speech on the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned state governors that Beijing’s “long arm” was infiltrating institutions. At the same time, countries considering their 5G rollouts are facing pressure from China to allow the company in the next generation of their wireless networks. This weekend, the Chinese embassy in Paris railed against treating Huawei differently from other telecom equipment providers after France’s main carrier, Orange SA, said it would prohibit Huawei from its network. While the U.K. plans to allow the company in non-core parts of its network, Canada—which has deepening research and development ties to Huawei—is still considering whether to do the same; a decision is expected sometime this year.

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The telecom reported $0.67 earnings per share, below the $0.69 consensus analyst estimate. Fourth-quarter operating revenue hit $6.3 billion and the firm hiked its dividend by five per cent. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The Nokia selection follows a U.K. decision to partially ban Huawei that’s costing British telecoms hundreds of millions of dollars. Bell already uses Huawei equipment in its network, and this decision doesn’t shut the door to using the Chinese telecom’s technology completely, as Nokia is flagged as Bell’s “first” 5G equipment supplier. For the coming year, Bell is planning capital intensity of about 16.5 per cent. That follows rival Rogers’s announcement last month that it will spend $2.9 billion on communications infrastructure. Bell said its initial focus for 5G deployment will be urban centres. The firm said it’s ready to deliver 5G “as next-generation smartphones come to market in 2020.”

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The companies are working on software for upcoming wireless networks. U.S. telecom and tech firms are also negotiating shared engineering standards to allow such programs to run on hardware from different providers. (The Wall Street Journal)

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Talking point: This move targets Huawei, which leads the world in 5G tech. Different departments within the Trump administration have tried to create a national champion to take on the Chinese firm, which has grown its market share by selling equipment for cheaper than competitors. The White House wants “all of the U.S. 5G architecture and infrastructure done by American firms,” economic adviser Larry Kudlow said of the new plan. Neither Microsoft nor Dell has a long track record in networking technology, but Kudlow said both are working on software and cloud products that could substitute for hardware. Widespread use of the technology now under development could assuage U.S. security concerns as other governments ignore its threats and allow Huawei equipment into parts of their own 5G networks. The U.K.’s decision last week “provides Canada with cover” to similarly skip an outright ban, Scotiabank telecom analyst Jeff Fan wrote in a recent report.