Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor clarified on Sunday that Huawei will participate in building the country’s 5G network as a “non-core” equipment provider, Reuters reported, after saying it would phase out the use of the company’s equipment from its current networks over the next five years.

Why it matters: The announcement marks Huawei’s second contract with a major European carrier in the past week despite warnings from the US government to exclude Huawei. However, neither deal is for Huawei to supply gear for core, or controlling, networks, a sign that European carriers are still treading cautiously following US allegations that Huawei gear poses cybersecurity risks.

  • Huawei has signed more than 60 commercial 5G contracts around the world with 32 coming from Europe, Chinese finance media outlet Yicai reported on Thursday.
  • It is unclear how many of the contracts are to supply core networks.
  • Recent deals from Western European carriers, which also include Germany’s Telefónica Deutschland, only allow Huawei to supply for less-sensitive radio access networks (RAN), the radios and antenna that connect mobile devices to wireless networks.
  • RAN accounts for the bulk of the cost of a new network but it is not the core, according to Reuters.

Details: Telenor will work with Huawei both to maintain the current 4G network and upgrade to 5G coverage in “selected areas of Norway,” according to the report, citing Hanne Knudsen, Telenor vice president for communications.

  • “Huawei has delivered hardware for RAN, but not for the core network. When they will build 5G in selected areas for the modernization, this is also for RAN, not core,” said Knudsen.
  • Telenor’s Finnish subsidiary DNA also uses Huawei as one of its 5G RAN suppliers, she said.
  • Huawei did not respond to TechNode requests for comment on Monday.

Huawei nabs German 5G network contract, regulator approval pending

Context: State-controlled Telenor is Norway’s biggest telecommunications provider, and operates in other Nordic and Asian countries, serving around 183 million customers.

  • The company said on Friday that it selected Swedish company Ericsson as the key technology provider for its 5G network in Norway.
  • Telefónica Deutschland, the operator of Germany’s second-largest wireless network, said on Wednesday that it had selected Huawei and Finland’s Nokia as its RAN suppliers.

Wei Sheng is a Beijing-based reporter covering hardware, smartphone, and telecommunications, along with regulations and policies related to the China tech scene. Before joining TechNode, he wrote about...

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