South Africa: ZTE ceases major operations – South African mobile networks respond

ZTE recently announced it had ceased operations after it was banned from purchasing technology products from companies in the United States.

The Chinese company was served with a seven-year ban from buying US technology products after it was found to have violated sanctions involving bonuses issued to employees who shipped telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea.

ZTE manufactures telecommunications equipment which is used in mobile network infrastructure around the world, including South Africa.

Networks and operators are closely monitoring the situation and the impact it could have, and MyBroadband spoke to mobile networks in South Africa to determine what effect the ZTE matter will have on their operations.

MTN’s local mobile network architecture comprises 50% Huawei equipment, but it also relies on Ericsson and ZTE.

The mobile operator told MyBroadband it would continue to assess ZTE’s situation, as it uses the company’s equipment in networks throughout Africa.

“MTN uses ZTE products mainly as radio equipment on certain base stations,” said MTN.

“Networks that use ZTE equipment include South Africa, Nigeria, and Uganda. Some smaller networks such South Sudan, Republic of Congo Brazzaville, and Republic of Guinea Conakry also use ZTE in locations.”

“Currently, we are fully focused on monitoring and managing the situation to ensure that our customers continue to experience the best service.”

MTN logo yellow

Vodacom said it is monitoring the effects of the ZTE ban, adding that customers will not be immediately affected.

“Vodacom is aware of the US Dept. of Commerce Denial Order, blocking the supply to ZTE of goods linked to US entities,” it said.

“We are working through what this means for Vodacom and we will of course comply with any relevant provisions of the order.”

“At this point there is no immediate impact for customers,” said Vodacom.

Vodacom logo

Telkom subscribers should be unaffected by the ZTE ban, as the company does not use any ZTE products in its infrastructure.

“Telkom does not have any ZTE equipment or systems on its network and is therefore not impacted by ZTE’s closure,” it said.

Source: My Broadband