Portugal’s largest telecoms company Altice has ruled out partnering with Chinese company Huawei in developing the country’s 5G network.
The Chinese company said to be influenced by the Chinese government will now not be working with Portugal’s three main telecoms operators MEO, Nos and Vodafone for the development of their core 5G networks.
“We are not using Huawei at core developments,” said the CEO of Altice Portugal, Alexandre Fonseca, at a meeting with journalists in Aveiro. However, according to online news source ECO, Altice has been conducting core tests with Huawei in Lisbon and with Ericsson in Aveiro, but is considering joining forces with US company Cisco for its 5G programme.
Last year, the US government, through its ambassador to Lisbon, made it patently clear it did not approve of Portugal’s possible partnership with the Chinese company Huawei for core 5G development because of security issues.
As to Nos, the operator also does not use Huawei technology for its core network. “We don’t use Huawei at core level,” said its financial director José Pedro Pereira last month. Nos does, however, have a protocol with Huawei but has also decided to advance with Nokia for its technology, but it is not known which company Nos has chosen for its 5G Core development.
Regarding Vodafone, the company has already officially said that it has chosen Ericsson as its partner of choice for its 5G core development.
The three Portuguese companies are thereby following recommendations from the European Commission to “exclude high security risk suppliers for the critical parts of its new generation mobile network”.
Despite Huawei not being directly mentioned by Brussels, the Chinese company has raised doubts over its alleged links to the Communist regime in China. The US had put pressure on the EU and the UK to totally ban the company from 5G involvement over fears that its technology would be used for spying by China.
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