The United Arab Emirates, a key US ally in the region, has announced that it will roll out a 5G network developed by Huawei this year, putting it at odds with Washington which is rallying countries against using the Chinese telecoms firm.
Huawei has struck a deal with the UAE’s state-controlled telecom provider Etisalat Group to provide around 300 5G towers in the first half of the year, the Wall Street Journal reports. The cost or financing of the deal was not disclosed at the announcement.
The deal adds to US concerns of China’s growing influence in the region. Saudi Arabia, another key US ally, recently visited Beijing to sign a number of deals and pledges supporting Chinese-led infrastructure programs.
The UAE is an important customer for US arms and has sided with Washington against regional terrorism and a hostile Iran. However policymakers have made it clear in recent weeks that the use of Huawei in 5G networks will compromise any bilateral security relations.