A ban on telecoms equipment from Huawei would add about €55 billion to the cost of 5G networks in Europe and cause delay of about 18 months, according to reports seen by Reuters.
The US added Huawei to a trade blacklist in May putting pressure on European countries to follow suit.
The cost estimate is part of a report by telecoms lobby group GSMA, which represents the interests of 750 mobile operators. The estimate reflects the total additional costs implied by a full ban on purchases from Huawei and fellow supplier ZTE for the roll out of 5G networks in Europe.
“Half of this (additional cost) would be due to European operators being impacted by higher input costs following significant loss of competition in the mobile equipment market,” the report said.
“Additionally, operators would need to replace existing infrastructure before implementing 5G upgrades.”
The two Chinese vendors have a combined market share in the European Union of more than 40 per cent.
This delay would result from delivery challenges for other major equipment makers, such as Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung, in the event of a sudden surge in demand.