The new Italian government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, earlier this month in a meeting of the council of ministers, came extending the legislation about use of special powers aiming protecting domestic strategic industries including telecom services in dealing with providers including China’s Huawei and ZTE Corporation for supply of fifth-generation (5G) infrastructure equipment.
It was for the first time when new coalition government of Five Star Movement (M5S) and Democratic Party (PD), has taken major economic measure to exercise an emergency law first passed by the previous government in July to strengthen Rome’s powers over companies of national interest including intervention in the rollout of 5G services.
At the time, a government source told Reuters that the decision to exercise “golden powers” to broaden the Rome’s authority highlights its concerns over the likely development of country’s 5G networks using equipments from the Chinese equipment makers Huawei and ZTE.
The United States time and again lobbied its European allies including Italy to shun the Huawei’s 5G network infrastructure equipment from Huawei and to also monitor the ZTE, saying the vendors can impose a security risk worrying use of their equipment to be used in spying for Beijing, allegations both the companies repeatedly denied strongly, especially in absence of any prove.
In a statement, the newly sworn government said that on agreements of Vodafone’s Italian unit to purchase goods and services to rollout 5G services in the country, it had imposed “conditions and requirements”, but did not share any further details.
The government also imposed requirement on deals between CK Hutchison’s Wind Tre and Huawei, details of which are also not made known.
The government will also use “golden powers” over accord between Fastweb and ZTE to purchase radio equipment, deal inked by former incumbent Telecom Italia for purchase of system that could adopt 5G technologies and supply agreement signed by Linkem.