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Portuguese operators shy away from using Huawei for 5G core networks

The Portuguese government has not banned Huawei

Portugal’s three most prominent telecom operators — NOS, Vodafone and Altice — will not being using Huawei in the build out of their core 5G networks, according to Reuters. When considered together, the three operators in questions serve nearly all of Portugal’s mobile customers, so the revelation effectively excludes the controversial Chinese company from the entire country’s future core networks.

The Unites States has been relativity successful in putting diplomatic pressure on a number of countries around the world, particularly in Europe, to ban the use of Huawei infrastructure, further escalating world-wide tension.

However, when it comes to Portugal, the decision to exclude Huawei’s kit, which includes covers servers, gateways and routers, was made even though the country has not banned the Chinese company. Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos told Reuters it has “no ‘a priori’ issues with any manufacturer,” adding that the Portuguese government created a group to assess risks and cybersecurity issues relating to had not drawn any definitive conclusions related to a particular supplier.

Nuno Santos confirmed that the operators’ decision to go with other infrastructure partners is not a reflection of the government’s stance and that “it has nothing to do with the options or impositions of the Portuguese government, which in this matter is absolutely aligned with the European orientation.”

The European orientation that Nuno Santos is referring to is the European Commission’s position that European Union member states take action to diversify 5G suppliers in an effort to shrink Huawei’s presence in Europe.

A NOS spokeswoman revealed only that the operator will select the “best partners” for each of the network’s components, while Vodafone Portugal commented that has been working with Ericsson, the preferred and historic partner of its parent company Vodafone

Altice Portugal’s position on the matter has remained unchanged since the operator’s CEO Alexandre Fonseca said in early as March that Huawei wasn’t even included in its current networks.

The exclusion appears to only address the core part of 5G networks, and so it remains to be seen if Huawei will be selected to provide infrastructure for other areas of Portugal’s 5G networks.

The 5G spectrum auction in Portugal has been postponed to October as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The post Portuguese operators shy away from using Huawei for 5G core networks appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

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