Wednesday, 02 December 2020

Huawei makes a stand against Sweden’s 5G ban

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Friday 06 November 20

The Chinese vendor has appealed to the administrative court of Stockholm, which will decide if the decision is lawful

Huawei has today made it clear that it will not quietly bow out of the Swedish 5G market following the country’s ruling to exclude the vendor at the end of October. The company has made its appeal clear to the Swedish regulator, the Post and Telecoms Authority (PTS), who will pass on the dispute to an administrative court…

Huawei has today made it clear that it will not quietly bow out of the Swedish 5G market following the country’s ruling to exclude the vendor at the end of October. The company has made its appeal clear to the Swedish regulator, the Post and Telecoms Authority (PTS), who will pass on the dispute to an administrative court.

 

Sweden made the decision to ban Huawei and ZTE from its upcoming 5G networks late last month, ahead of the spectrum auction due this month. Operators must also remove the Chinese technology from their existing networks by 2025.

 

The move came following a consultation with national security services which dubbed China “one of the biggest threats against Sweden”.

 

Huawei, as expected, have proclaimed their innocence and said that the decision is not necessarily lawful.

 

“We think the decision that has been taken is not good for customers nor for Sweden in general,” said Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei’s Executive Vice President, Central East Europe and Nordic Region, speaking to Reuters earlier today. “We therefore want a Swedish court to look at if the decision has been taken through a proper process and according to the law.”

 

Huawei continues to lose ground throughout Europe in recent months, with France implementing a de facto ban of the company’s technology by 2028, while Germany is set to impose stricter cybersecurity laws that will make working with them difficult.

 

However, this is not the only European market where Huawei is fighting its corner. In Estonia and, more recently, Poland and Romania, Huawei is arguing that their ban contravenes EU discriminatory law, which prohibits countries from restricting companies based solely upon their country of origin.

 

All of these challenges will likely represent lengthy legal battles, all the while Huawei will be losing ground to rivals. In Sweden, the aforementioned 5G spectrum auction is set to take place in the next few weeks, expected to lead to a boost for Nordic vendors Ericsson and Nokia. Even if the regulators do step in – a move which would set a precedence throughout Europe – it may already be too late.

 

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