Norway joined other western nations in expressing concerns about Chinese vendor Huawei, as the government reportedly considers banning the company from participating in its 5G infrastructure deployment.
Speaking to Reuters, Norway’s justice minister Tor Mikkel Wara said the country shared “the same concerns as the US and Britain and that is espionage and state actors in Norway”.
“This question is high priority…we want to have this in place before we build the next round of the telecom network.”
Huawei faced intense scrutiny from a number of nations throughout 2018, with concerns centred around whether its equipment could pose a threat to national security.
The vendor has already been banned from supplying equipment for future 5G builds in the US, Australia and New Zealand, while operators in Japan also said they would avoid the Chinese vendor.
In Europe, Germany has suggested it could follow suit, while UK’s BT is planning to remove all Huawei equipment from mobile operator EE’s core 4G network within two years.
When asked if it could implement its own ban on Huawei, Wara said Norway was “considering the steps taken in other countries. That is a part of it – the steps taken in the US and Britain”.
Huawei currently plays a big role in Norway, with both Telenor and Telia using the company’s 4G equipment and also running tests on 5G with the vendor.
Reuters said Telenor signed its first major contract with Huawei in 2009, paving the way for the Chinese company’s global expansion.
Responding to Wara’s comments, Tore Orderloekken, cyber security officer at Huawei Norway maintained 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.”