Huawei ban could derail German rail operator's digitization plans
Germany's national railway operator, Deutsche Bahn, is facing a major financial and logistical challenge if the German government bans Huawei components from its infrastructure.
According to a report by Spiegel magazine, Deutsche Bahn would have to spend up to 400 million euros to replace all the Huawei components in its network. This would also delay the company's digitization projects by five to six years.
The German government is currently reviewing whether to ban Huawei components from its telecoms networks, amid concerns about the influence of Chinese companies on critical infrastructure. Any decision to ban Huawei outright would likely draw an angry response from Beijing.
Deutsche Bahn is seeking to digitise its operations and has already awarded a contract to a Deutsche Telekom subsidiary to supply most of the components for its new IP network. This contract includes technology from Huawei.
The decision of whether or not to ban Huawei components from Germany's critical infrastructure is a complex one. There are security concerns about the potential for Huawei to spy on behalf of the Chinese government, but there are also economic concerns about the impact of a ban on German businesses.
The German government is expected to make a decision on the Huawei ban in the coming months. In the meantime, Deutsche Bahn is facing a major financial and logistical challenge if the ban is imposed.