Fri, Jan 10, 2020 - Page 10 News List

Brazil to reject US dislike of Huawei 5G bid: official


Brazil would not bow to any pressure from the US over whether to allow Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (華為) to bid for its 5G network, Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications Marcos Pontes said.

“A good partner always understands the needs of the other,” Pontes said in an interview in his office in Brasilia. “Just as Brazil makes no claim over what business the US does with China, and whether or not this affects our agribusiness.”

Pontes, responsible for establishing the criteria for the construction of the latest generation of ultra-fast Internet, said that he would not veto any company from the bidding process and that the final decision would be based on merit.

“With technical criteria, it’s hard to see how some of these big companies won’t have the capacity to participate,” he said.

Scheduled initially for March and then postponed until the second half of the year, a 5G auction could be delayed until next year, Pontes said.

That is due to a technical problem as the new network would interfere with transmissions from the satellite dishes that relay TV signals in the country.

The government is studying two alternatives: putting filters on the satellite dishes or changing the transmission frequency used by the country’s TV providers.

On top of this, the agency that regulates the telecommunications sector was slow to publish the official notice announcing the auction.

Pontes said that he prefers to move cautiously, adding that the delay benefits Brazil by allowing it to learn from the mistakes and successes of other countries acquiring their new 5G networks.

The proximity between the governments of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US President Donald Trump gives Brazil much to gain in the area of science and technology, Pontes added.

He is currently seeking US cooperation in the fields of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, intelligent cities and the use of advanced materials.

However, there are also ongoing discussions on similar issues with China.

“Science and technology works as an excellent component of diplomacy,” he said.

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