Orange and Proximus have both chosen to use Nokia and Ericsson equipment for their respective 5G rollouts in Belgium.
The move will see both Orange and Proximus drop Huawei gear, which had previously been used as part of the telcos’ 4G networks.
The two telcos will use Nokia equipment to roll out 5G and progressively renew existing 2G/3G/4G mobile radio networks. Specifically, Nokia will build one radio access network (RAN) and one 5G network each for the telcos.
Meanwhile, Ericsson will be responsible for building out the cores of the telcos’ 5G networks.
“The decision to collaborate with Ericsson is an important step in the execution of our network strategy. Proximus is committed to building the best gigabit network for Belgium, and the renewal of our mobile network equipment is a key element in this strategy for the coming years,” Proximus network business chief Geert Standaert said.
STOCKHOLM/PARIS (Reuters) – Orange and Proximus have picked Nokia to help build 5G networks in Belgium as they drop Huawei amid U.S. pressure to exclude the Chinese firm from supplying key telecoms equipment.
The moves are among the first by commercial operators in Europe to drop Huawei from next-generation networks and come after months of diplomatic pressure from Washington, which alleges Huawei equipment could be used by Beijing for spying.
The Belgian capital Brussels is home to the European Union’s executive body and parliament, making it a matter of particular concern for U.S. intelligence agencies.
“Belgium has been 100% reliant on Chinese vendors for its radio networks – and people working at NATO and the EU were making mobile phone calls on these networks,” said John Strand, an independent Danish telecoms consultant.
“The operators are sending a signal that it’s important to have access