BERLIN: Deutsche Telekom has put a hold on all deals related to 5G networks, it said on Wednesday, as it awaits resolution of Germany's stance on potential security concerns over Chinese supplier Huawei.
"In light of the unclear political situation, we are not currently entering into any 5G contracts with any vendor," Deutsche Telekom said. "We are currently informing vendors of this."
Deutsche Telekom has launched 5G in a handful of German cities, with its rollout in Berlin based on a pilot project there with Huawei. It plans to expand coverage to 20 German cities next year.
Lawmakers in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union have, however, rebelled against proposed regulations that would not impose outright bans on any one provider but instead check out the technology and governance of all vendors.
They have sided with arguments put forward by the United States that market leader Huawei's equipment contains so-called back doors that expose networks to cyber spies and that it is beholden by law to the Chinese state. Huawei denies this.
"We hope that we will get political clarity for Germany's 5G buildout as soon as possible, so that we do not fall behind," Deutsche Telekom said.
(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by David Goodman)