Portuguese Telcos Drop Huawei For 5G Networks

Huawei’s 5G ambitions in Europe took another blow after it was reported that major Portuguese telcos will not use its kit for their 5G networks.

According to Reuters, NOS, Altice and Vodafone, which dominate Portugal’s market, said they will not use Huawei’s technology in their 5G core networks.

This is despite the fact that Portugal’s government has no official guidance on the matter and has not banned 5G equipment from the Chinese networking giant.

Portuguese exclusion

A NOS spokeswoman said the company “will not have Huawei equipment in its core network” and will choose the “best partners” for each of the network’s components.

A Vodafone Portugal spokeswoman also reportedly said the company will not use it, either.

Although that is hardly surprising after Vodafone in February announced that it would be removing Huawei equipment from the sensitive, core parts of its mobile networks across Europe.

Meanwhile Altice Portugal CEO Alexandre Fonseca reportedly said the same as Vodafone in March.

According to Reuters, the company said this remained their position.

And yet the Portuguese government has no restrictions on the use of Huawei 5G equipment.

Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos confirmed to Reuters that he “heard Huawei would be left out” but added: “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.”

“We have no ‘a priori’ issues with any manufacturer,” Nuno Santos reportedly said, revealing that a group created by the Portuguese government to assess risks and cybersecurity issues relating to 5G had completed its work and not drawn any conclusions directed against any particular supplier.

Huawei did not immediately reply to a request for comment, according to Reuters.

Huawei UK

It has been a bad month for Huawei’s 5G European ambitions, after the tech giant was excluded from providing Huawei equipment in UK 5G networks from 2027.

Following that rejection, there were question marks over the future of the company in the UK, but this development shows Huawei intends to stay and compete in the UK despite the government decision.

There is no word over whether Hauwei will still press ahead and spend £1 billion building a research facility in Cambridgeshire, that will “focus on researching, developing, and manufacturing optoelectronics products.”

Huawei acquired 500 acres of land in Cambridge in 2018, and the site is located at the former Spicers paper mill and production facility located to the west of the large village of Sawston.

Last month Huaweihad touted its commitment to the UK, as it marked 20 years of presence in the British market.

It also recently said it is spending £10 million with the opening of three ‘experience’ and customer service stores in both London and Manchester.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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