Sweden’s telecoms watchdog banned operators taking part in a forthcoming 5G auction from using products made by Huawei and ZTE, as part of conditions set following an assessment by the country’s armed forces and security services.
In a statement, the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) said Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility (a joint initiative by Tele2 and Telenor’s local units), Telia Sverige and Teracom Group had been approved to participate in the auction of 5G-suitable spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 2.3GHz bands from 10 November.
As part of the licence conditions set, PTS said new installations and implementations of “central functions” for the radio use in the frequency bands “must not be carried with products from suppliers Huawei or ZTE”.
PTS explained central functions related to use in the radio access, transmission, core and the service maintenance networks.
It added operators were required to phase out the vendor’s products by 1 January 2025 at the latest, if the new spectrum is used for existing “functions”.
The decision is another body blow to the Chinese vendors’ ambitions in Europe, with Huawei in particular coming under increasing scrutiny in the continent, following a US-led campaign which argues the company poses a security risk.
In July, the UK became one of the first European countries to ban use of Huawei’s equipment in 5G networks, along with ordering operators to remove the vendor’s kit from networks by 2027.
While the UK, Germany and France represent major markets for Huawei, is unclear how much business it has in Sweden, considering this is the home market of key rival Ericsson.