Portugal’s Telecom Watchdog Pushes Forward with Huawei Equipment Ban in 5G Networks Despite Legal Opposition

In a proactive move to bolster the security of its 5G networks, Portugal’s telecommunications regulatory body is collaborating closely with major operators to implement a resolution that effectively excludes Huawei’s equipment from the country’s 5G mobile networks.
Huawei 5G antennaThis decision, while facing legal objections from Huawei, is seen as a significant blow to the Chinese tech giant’s aspirations to participate in standalone networks within Portugal’s burgeoning 5G market Reuters news report said.

The Consultative Council for Strategic Cybersecurity (CSSC), advising the Portuguese Prime Minister, adopted the resolution in May, refraining from mentioning Huawei explicitly. Nevertheless, it dealt a significant setback to Huawei’s endeavors to extend contracts on 4G platforms, on which the new 5G technology is built.

Huawei, a global leader in telecom equipment manufacturing, responded by filing a lawsuit in a Lisbon court at the end of August, seeking legal protection of its legitimate interests. Meanwhile, Portugal’s major operators — Altice, NOS, and Vodafone — have already committed to eschewing Huawei equipment in their 5G core networks, aligning with growing European and U.S. concerns regarding potential security compromises linked to Chinese involvement in critical infrastructure. Both Beijing and Huawei vigorously deny such allegations.

President of ANACOM (the National Communications Authority of Portugal), Joao Cadete de Matos, affirmed the commitment to executing decisions related to security, not only within the national framework but also in accordance with European guidelines. Stressing ongoing cooperation with operators, Matos expressed confidence in successful execution, reassuring the Portuguese populace.

Addressing the Huawei lawsuit, Matos emphasized the need to await its development while underscoring ANACOM’s meticulous and coordinated approach to fulfilling national expectations.

Portugal’s Secretary of State for Digitalisation, Mario Campolargo, who chairs the CSSC, previously clarified that the May resolution was founded on a rigorous and independent security assessment, aligning with European Union guidelines and not explicitly targeting Chinese suppliers. Matos echoed this sentiment, highlighting the close collaboration between the government and ANACOM in this crucial matter.