Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said that the country will begin to deploy experimental 5G networks with the support of Chinese technology.
The under-fire leader also promised to build and put into orbit the country’s third satellite developed with Chinese tech, the Guaicaipuro.
The announcement was made on Friday during the 45th anniversary of China-Venezuela relations, regulator Conatel reported.
“Soon we will start to install 5G in Venezuela with the help of China. Venezuela will not be behind in technology, we will move forward,” Maduro was quoted as saying at the Miraflores palace by local media.
It is not clear how this support will be provided or which companies will collaborate.
But the cooperation agreements with China have worked as a lifeline for Venezuela and have allowed Maduro to obtain some key financing and investments to partially offset the deep crisis in which Venezuela is immersed.
The new announcement comes a month after Maduro indicated that an “immediate investment” will be made with Huawei and other Chinese companies to refresh the country’s 4G networks and deteriorated communication systems.
Furthermore, a day after Maduro’s announcement, US President Donald Trump reversed course and suggested that the ban on US companies selling to Huawei could soon be lifted. This U-turn came after a meeting with Chinese President XI Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan.
Six weeks ago, Huawei had been blacklisted by Trump over cybersecurity concerns. The reversal now indicates that the ban may have been mainly driven by trade concerns and that Huawei could have been used as a bargaining chip in the talks.