Telenor has picked Sweden’s Ericsson as the key technology provider for its fifth-generation (5G) telecoms network in Norway, it said on Friday, gradually removing China’s Huawei after a decade of collaboration over 4G.
Fearing high-tech espionage, and battling with China over trade, the United States has pushed NATO allies such as Norway to exclude Huawei from lucrative 5G deals, and the Norwegian security services also warned against the firm.
“Ericsson will modernise and build Telenor’s 5G radio access network (RAN),” the operator said in a statement.
“The modernisation will take 4-5 years. Due to this, Telenor will use equipment from existing RAN vendor Huawei to maintain the 4G network and also upgrade to 5G coverage in selected areas of Norway,” it added.
State-controlled Telenor is Norway’s biggest telecoms provider, and is active in the rest of the Nordic region as well as five Asian countries, serving some 183 million customers.
Huawei has rejected claims that 5G networks it builds could be used as spy tools, and China has accused Washington of using security arguments to further politicize a conflict that is fundamentally about trade.
On Wednesday Telefonica Deutschland picked Nokia of Finland and Huawei to build its 5G network, seeking to get work moving even though Germany has yet to finalise security rules on equipment suppliers.