BEIRUT (Rahnuma): Recent U.S. moves against China’s telecom company Huawei will not impact Lebanon’s cooperation with Huawei, Lebanese Telecommunications Minister Mohamad Choucair has said.
“Our cooperation with Huawei will not be impacted at all, and we will do what is in the interest of Lebanon,” Choucair told Xinhua recently.
Last month, the U.S. government declared a national emergency over what it claimed is technological threats, and announced restrictions on the sale and transfer of American technologies to Huawei.
So far, the U.S. side has not produced any hard evidence to support its accusation against Huawei.
Huawei is now involved in several telecom projects in Lebanon, including the fiber optics and 5G services.
According to Choucair, the fiber optics project will be operational in Lebanon in two years and involves different multinational companies including Huawei.
Huawei’s latest 5G equipment also enabled Touch, a mobile telecommunications and data operator in Lebanon, to perform the first commercial 5G trial in the country last November.
In addition, Huawei has offered the Lebanese Telecom Ministry 10 cell towers, which will be used to test the 5G technology in the country, said Choucair.
“We will decide on the launching of the 5G technology in Lebanon soon after we finish our research about its health aspects, efficiency and profitability,” he said, adding that 5G tests will start later this year.
Choucair said his ministry has five main goals to achieve in the near future, including the 300-million-U.S. dollar fiber optics and 5G projects.
“We also aim at supplying all locations in Lebanon with 4G and LTE in addition to creating a submarine cable,” he added.
Choucair said his ministry is preparing to launch a tender to allow two new mobile operators to enter the Lebanese market.
“We invite companies from all over the world, including China, to come and take part in the new tender if they are capable of providing us with good services at competitive prices,” he said.
Choucair, who is also head of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, added that Lebanon can cooperate with China in other areas as well.
“We can, for instance, make more efforts to take part in exhibitions taking place in China to introduce our products to the Chinese market and increase our exports to the country,” he said.