The pandemic has slowed down the implementation of the 5G network in Serbia, which will happen, judging by the announcements of the authorities, perhaps as early as next year.
A researcher at the Centre for Security Policy in Belgrade, Vuk Vuksanović, says that the tender for 5G infrastructure should have been launched in the first quarter of 2021. “I think the reason for the delay is that Serbian government is hesitant as the Chinese company, Huawei, is the favourite to carry out this job, which would put Serbia in the middle of the tension between the US and China,” he adds.
Vuksanovic also recalls the Washington agreement, as well as the provision that Belgrade and Pristina refrain from installing 5G infrastructure from unreliable manufacturers. The expert believes that the introduction of 5G infrastructure, mainly with the help of Huawei, would outrage official Washington, which has been trying to suppress China’s influence, a policy of the previous but also the current US administration.
“Experts agree that Serbia is potentially behind schedule because there have been no tenders yet. On the one hand, Huawei would be the most convenient solution, and on the other, Belgrade would clash with Washington, and there would also be the possibility of potential financial sanctions,” Vuksanovic said.
Europe is also concerned about Huawei, Vuksanović adds. “Washington is much more dangerous because they have the practical ability to react according to their concerns, however, there is also the phobia that we will be cut off from European countries. European countries are hesitant into allowing Huawei, and by that, the Chinese state, infiltrate too deeply into the European infrastructure.”
He says that this can be seen in Germany or Great Britain and that the European Union will certainly see how “Huawei” will behave on the Serbian market. With the potential termination of cooperation with this company, Vuksanović stresses, Serbia would find itself in an unpleasant position, because Serbian cooperation with Huawei is not only on in the infrastructure segment, but also in hardware and other solutions.
“Such cooperation would be difficult to stop completely because of the financial benefits that Serbia has; the Serbian government will probably wait for the launch of the tender for 5G infrastructure and maybe this will happen after the elections,” Vuksanovic concludes.
This post is also available in: Italiano