Norway may ban Huawei from 5G network deals

Norway may ban China’s Huawei Technologies from supplying 5G network infrastructure to telecom operators Telenor, Tele2 and Telia.
Huawei 5G New ZealandJustice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara said Norway is considering whether to join other western nations in excluding Huawei Technologies from building part of the Nordic country’s new 5G telecommunications infrastructure, Reuters reported.

Earlier, Huawei faced similar ban in countries such as the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, among others. Huawei is the number one telecom network supplier to telecom operators.

The Norwegian government is discussing measures to reduce potential vulnerabilities in its telecoms industry ahead of the upgrade.

State-controlled operator Telenor, which has 173 million subscribers across eight countries in Europe and Asia, signed its first major network contract with Huawei in 2009.

Telenor and competitor Telia currently use 4G equipment from Huawei in Norway and are testing 5G network equipment from the Chinese company in their experimental 5G networks.

“We share the same concerns as the United States and Britain and that is espionage on private and state actors in Norway,” Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara told Reuters on the sidelines of a business conference.

“This question is high priority. We want to have this in place before we build the next round of the telecom network. We are considering the steps taken in the United States and Britain,” Wara said.

Huawei said its equipment was secure.

“Our customers in Norway have strong security requirements of us and they manage the risk in their operations in a good way,” said Tore Orderloekken, Cyber Security Officer at Huawei Norway.

“We will continue to be open and transparent and offer extended testing and verification of our equipment to prove that we can deliver secure products in the 5G network in Norway.”

Telenor said it was taking security seriously. “Norway has control over critical infrastructure for many, many years and we in Telenor take it very seriously,” Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke said.