Vodafone puts Andrea Donà in charge of UK networks

Andrea Donà, a former Ericsson executive, has been put in charge of the UK networks run by Vodafone.

His last position, according to his LinkedIn profile, was the head of operations in the eastern as well as the western part of Europe. Since Kyle Prigg quit Vodafone, Donà will take his place.

This comes at a time when Donald Trump is visiting the UK. It is expected that a considerable amount of pressure will be put on the British government to place a ban on Huawei’s 5G networks. The US administration has reason to believe that they can act as a backdoor to allow for Chinese spying. If the UK does not meet Trump’s demands, withholding intelligence about security threats could come as a result.

A strict ban, however, could have dire repercussions for the telecommunications operator. Since 6,000 of 18,000 mobile sites are using Huawei’s equipment, there would be a lot of replacement to be done. According to Scott Petty, Vodafone’s Chief of Technology in the UK (and Donà’s boss), doing so would cost “hundreds of millions”.

So, what are the other players doing with regards to adapting to the increasing pressure? Although Vodafone has decided not to include Huawei’s technology as part of its core network, this is not the case with the decisions that BT is making. However, the plans are to phase it out during the next couple of years to keep Chinese vendors away from core network systems.