Vodafone’s Italian unit (VOD.L) has obtained conditional approval from Rome to use equipment made by Chinese Huawei in its 5G radio access network, two sources familiar with the matter said.
Italy can block or impose tough conditions on deals involving non-EU sellers under “golden powers”, which have been used three times since 2012 to block foreign interests in sectors deemed to be of strategic importance.
The national unity government led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi cleared the deal between Vodafone and Huawei (HWT.UL) on May 20, one of the two sources told Reuters, asking not to be named because the sensitivity of the issue.
As in similar agreements, the government has imposed a set of requirements, including restrictions on Huawei’s remote intervention to resolve technical issues and an extremely high security threshold, the source added.
Vodafone and Huawei declined to comment.
The United States has pressured Italy and other European allies to avoid using Huawei equipment in their next-generation telecommunications networks and to keep a close watch on rival ZTE, saying companies could pose a risk. for the safety.
Huawei and ZTE strongly deny the allegations.
Over the past 12 months, Italy has taken a tougher stance on Huawei, without banning it entirely from 5G infrastructure.
Under former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Rome blocked telecommunications group Fastweb in October from signing a deal with Huawei to supply equipment for its 5G core network, where highly sensitive data is processed.
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.