Huawei no longer opts for 5g networks contracts in europe.
Orange (PA: ORAN) and Proximus (BR: PROX) chose Nokia (HE: NOKIA) to help them build 5G networks in Belgium, bypassing Huawei amid US pressure to exclude the Chinese firm from supply key telecommunications equipment.
The decision is one of the first among European commercial operators to leave Huawei out of next-generation networks and comes after months of diplomatic pressure from Washington, which argues that the Chinese company’s equipment could be used by Beijing to spy.
The capital of Belgium, Brussels, is home to the headquarters of NATO and of the Executive and Parliament of the European Union, which makes it a matter of special concern for US intelligence agencies.
“Belgium has relied 100% on Chinese vendors for its radio networks and people working in NATO and the EU were making phone calls with those networks,” said John Strand, an independent Danish telecommunications consultant.
“Operators are sending the signal that it is important to have access to secure networks,” he added.
The United States welcomed the decisions of Orange Belgium and Proximus, which have a network sharing agreement.
“This is the latest example of Huawei deals fizzling out, as well as a further confirmation of that global drive toward trusted sellers,” said Keith Krach, State Department undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment.
Huawei, the world’s largest provider of telecommunications equipment, strongly rejects the US accusations and has harshly criticized calls for its exclusion from 5G contracts.