‘No more Huawei in core networks of Dutch telecom companies’
The Chinese telecom company Huawei no longer supplies core equipment to Dutch 5G networks. Huawei confirms that on Friday in The Financial Times. This is the result of a government appeal to the three Dutch providers to remove equipment from ‘untrusted’ suppliers from the core of their networks.
T-Mobile appears to be the most affected by the decision because most of the network of this provider is built with Huawei equipment. It is still unclear when that company will have to remove the equipment. KPN already wanted to replace Huawei in the core network with equipment from the Swedish Ericsson, and Vodafone hardly made use of network components from China. Huawei still supplies antennas to T-Mobile and KPN.
In 2019, the government called on the three network providers to remove equipment from “untrusted” suppliers from the core of their network – the part that controls the mobile network. A ministerial decision recently followed, stating that Vodafone, KPN and T-Mobile must adapt their network. Exactly what the adjustments look like is unknown because the contents of the decision have been declared a state secret. It is clear, however, that the limitation applies to both 5G and the 4G technology that has been around for some time. The providers want compensation for the forced adjustments, which could amount to tens of millions of euros.
Globally, Huawei is the market leader in telecom equipment. The growth of the Chinese company has caused authorities in the United States and Europe to fear that Huawei is eavesdropping on telephones or allowing Chinese hackers in, although there is no evidence of this. Six months ago, the Swedish government decided to ban Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE for security reasons.
The United Kingdom and Belgium have also made efforts to keep Huawei out, hindering the company’s expansion on European soil. Several countries have tightened the rules for telecom companies after the European Union called for it.