The Belgian telecom operator Proximus is going to roll out its fast mobile 5G internet with the help of Finnish Nokia and Swedish Ericsson. This is a farewell to the current Chinese supplier Huawei. According to Proximus, the pressure from the authorities to exclude Chinese technology from the critical 5G infrastructure did not play a role in the decision.
Chinese telecom has been under attack mainly from the United States for a long time. The Americans suspect Huawei of espionage by the Chinese government. Several European countries were warned in the past by the US not to engage with Huawei before the roll-out of 5G.
For a long time Proximus continued to defend Huawei openly. For example, the telecom operator’s management stressed last year that there is no indication of any real danger. In doing so, Huawei would continue to be technologically more advantageous than the European players.
At the end of June, the National Security Council of Belgium decided to impose “strict safety conditions” on the future critical 5G infrastructure in order to avoid “inappropriate use”. Although the government never mentioned the name Huawei, the measure appears to be directed mainly against Chinese infrastructure provider.
In July, KPN stated that no Huawei ban is expected by the Dutch government. The company uses telecom equipment from the Chinese technology group, but says not in critical parts of the network.