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B.C. telecom provider launches Huawei trials amid China tensions

Broadband internet trials come as Canada faces pressure to ban Huawei equipment from 5G network
ABC Communications is launching a service trial in rural B.C. using Huawei equipment.

Ongoing tensions between Canada and China stemming from Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. don’t appear to be cooling interest from at least one B.C. telecom provider.

ABC Communications, which specializes servicing rural clients, is launching a trial using Huawei’s rural broadband technology in a bid to deliver high-speed internet in Lac La Hache, located in the Cariboo region.

ABC Communications CEO Bob Allen said in a statement that providing customers with reliable service was his company’s top priority.

“I am thrilled to showcase Huawei's Massive MIMO rural broadband systems and the tremendous positive impact this technology will have on the future services we deliver to our valued customers," he said.

Tensions between Canada and China have been white hot since the December arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver International Airport following an extradition order from the U.S.

China has subsequently arrested a number of Canadians, including diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman and Michael Spavor, and sentenced Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death for drug smuggling following a sudden retrial.

Canada also finds itself under pressure to ban Huawei equipment from its future 5G network.

Bell Canada and Vancouver-based Telus Corp. have been partnering with Huawei to develop the future network while the federal government conducts a security review of risks posed by the Chinese technology giant.

Canadian intelligence allies such as Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. have already banned Huawei’s 5G equipment over espionage concerns.

The U.K. is also conducting a review.

ABC Communications did not immediately respond to an interview request from Business in Vancouver.