WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday he is confident there will be effective 5G competitors to China’s Huawei from Western vendors at comparable costs, adding that he believes Western technologies will come to dominate telecommunications.
“I am confident that there will be a cost-effective deliverables from Western trusted vendors that can deliver the same services, or better services, at comparative cost,” Pompeo said during an Atlantic Council event.
In what some observers have compared to the Cold War arms race, the United States is worried 5G dominance would give China an advantage Washington is not ready to accept.
With U.S.-China relations at their worst in decades, Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei Technologies Co <HWT.UL>, arguing that the firm would hand over data to the Chinese government for spying.
Huawei, founded in 1987 by a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army, denies it spies for Beijing and says the United States is trying to smear it because Western firms are falling behind in 5G technology.
Pompeo said countries had come to recognize the costs of putting “untrusted” vendors in their systems.
“Over time, I think the world will come to recognize that’s not the right path and you will see Western technologies that are verifiable, trustworthy and transparent come to dominate the telecommunications markets,” he said.
5G, which will offer much faster data speeds and become the foundation of many industries and networks, is seen as one of the biggest innovations since the birth of the internet itself a generation ago.
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, Humeyra Pamuk, David Brunnstrom and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Dan Grebler)