Photo: AFP

European wireless provider Orange claims that it completed the continent’s first call over a standalone 5G network in conjunction with Chinese telecommunications gear maker ZTE.

Orange Spain noted that the trial in Valencia was carried out over fully 5G network equipment, whereas previous tests used existing 4G architecture.

“It is key to learn about this new and disruptive technology,” said Mónica Sala, director of networks at Orange Spain, according to RCR Wireless. “The know-how of ZTE is evident in achieving this milestone and we are very proud of the results.”

The provider confirmed earlier this year that it will be working with ZTE’s fellow Chinese telecoms giant, Huawei, for trials in other locations, including Andalucia.

Europe’s embrace of Chinese telecommunications equipment has flummoxed Washington, where Trump administration officials and lawmakers have long-warned that Huawei and ZTE pose security risks.

After successfully getting Australia and Japan to agree to restrict the use of Chinese gear, US officials were dealt a series of humiliating defeats this year, as ally after ally in Europe ignored warnings and refused to ban Huawei and ZTE 5G equipment.

Following the conclusion by governments in Germany and the UK that any security risks could be mitigated without blocking Chinese-made equipment, New Zealand has also attempted to walk back its earlier decision to restrict the gear.

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