Telenor selected Ericsson to deploy its 5G RAN in Norway, scaling back on previous collaboration with Huawei on LTE infrastructure after what the operator said had been a deep assessment of major vendors’ next-generation capabilities.

In a statement, Telenor said full modernisation of its network will take between four years to five years to complete. During the transition, it will continue to use Huawei to maintain its 4G network and handle upgrades to 5G in some parts of the country.

Huawei was Telenor’s sole 4G RAN supplier in Norway.

The approach will ensure Norwegian customers “have the most optimal user experience and can continue to enjoy a fast and reliable mobile network during the modernisation”. Telenor is planning to launch 5G in the country in 2020.

Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke explained the company had conducted a thorough review of vendors’ abilities around technical quality, innovation and security. “Based on the comprehensive and holistic evaluation, we have decided to introduce a new partner for this important technology shift in Norway.”

The decision is another blow to Huawei, which is facing global pressure due to allegations its equipment allows the Chinese government to spy.

These allegations have resulted in Huawei being banned from participating in 5G deployments in the US and Australia, while there are question marks about its involvement in major European markets including Germany.