KPN announced it would use a western supplier for its core 5G kit, but signed a preliminary agreement with Huawei for the modernisation of its radio and antenna network.
In a statement, the Dutch operator said it had adopted a multi-vendor policy to its 5G rollout after “reviewing all parts of its fixed and mobile network and assessing with which suppliers it can best achieve its network ambitions.”
Its decision to sign-up Huawei for upgrades to its radio network is subject to change or cancellation in-line with any decision made on the vendor by the country’s authorities.
KPN didn’t reveal which company was likely to win its core network contract, but noted it had recently announced it was working with Nokia in its fixed business.
The operator said its vendor policies would enable it “to execute on the need for a rapid modernisation of the mobile networks towards 5G, while taking into account the evolving assessment on the protection of vital infrastructure”.
In a statement, Steven Cai, CEO of Huawei Benelux, said the company appreciated “KPN’s trust” and is “committed to supporting” the operator’s ambitions.
KPN added it was in “continuous dialogue” with stakeholders, including the government on the issue.
Its policy is similar to one outlined by UK authorities in a leaked document this week, where Huawei was cleared to work on elements of 5G not directly related to sensitive parts of core networks.
Earlier this month, Reuters reported the Dutch government had appointed a taskforce to assess potential security risks associated with 5G rollouts by the country’s mobile operators.
The unit is expected to present its results next month.
Cai said Huawei welcomed and “will fully cooperate” with the Dutch government’s initiative, adding it is hard to address “concerns and discussions regarding safety and security” when “no clear facts are on the table”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back