(Reuters) - Swedish regulators on Tuesday banned the use of telecom equipment from China's Huawei and ZTE 000063.SZ in its 5G network ahead of the spectrum auction scheduled for next month.
The United States has been pressing allies to bar Huawei from next generation 5G networks on security grounds.
Huawei denies U.S. accusations that it spies for China and has said the Americans want to frustrate its growth because no U.S. company can offer the same range of technology at a competitive price.
Following is the approach to Huawei that has been taken by a number of countries:
On June 30, the Federal Communications Commission formally designated Huawei and fellow Chinese company ZTE as posing threats to U.S. national security, a declaration that bars U.S. firms from tapping an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies.
In May, the Trump administration had moved to block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei from global chipmakers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July ordered Huawei equipment to be purged completely from Britain’s 5G network by the end of 2027.
Reversing a January decision to allow Huawei to supply up to 35% of the non-core 5G network, Johnson banned British telecoms operators from buying any 5G equipment from Huawei by year-end and gave them seven years to rip out existing gear.
In January, the European Union said countries can eitherrestrict or exclude high-risk 5G vendors from core parts oftheir telecoms networks, a move targeting Huawei but falling short of a U.S. call for a complete ban.
The German government is planning tougher oversight of telecoms network vendors that, while stopping short of a ban on Huawei, will make it harder for the Chinese company to keep a foothold in Europe’s largest market.
Three coalition and government sources said last month that an agreement had been reached in principle to extend scrutiny of a vendor’s governance and technology to Radio Access Networks (RAN) powering next-generation 5G services, in addition to the more sensitive core.
President Emmanuel Macron said in August that France was not excluding any company from the 5G market but added that his strategy was based on European sovereignty.
Macron said Europe had two leading suppliers, Sweden's Ericsson ERICb.ST and regional rival Nokia, who offered Europe a "genuine industrial solution, fully secured".
French authorities have told telecoms operators planning to buy Huawei 5G equipment that they will not be able to renew licences for the gear once they expire, effectively phasing the Chinese firm out of mobile networks, three sources told Reuters in July.
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said last month that Italy understood U.S. concerns over 5G contracts and would be seeking a common EU position.
Telecom Italia TLIT.MI excluded Huawei from a tender it launched in July for 5G equipment for a core network it is preparing to build in Italy, two sources said.
Network operators Orange ORAN.PA and Proximus PROX.BR in October picked Nokia to help build 5G networks in Belgium as they drop Huawei following U.S. pressure.
The Belgian capital Brussels is home to the NATO alliance and the European Union’s executive and parliament, making it a matter of particular concern for U.S. intelligence agencies.
OTHER PARTS OF EU:
Among smaller EU countries, there has been a noticeable drift away from Huawei with Slovenia becoming the latest country to sign a “clean network” deal with the United States that would restrict access to high-risk vendors. Others, such as Hungary and Austria, continue to welcome Huawei.
Two of Canada’s largest telecoms firms teamed up in June with Ericsson and Nokia to build 5G networks, ditching Huawei for the project. Ottawa has spent almost two years studying whether to allow Huawei into 5G networks.
Huawei’s Australian business said last month it would continue to cut staff numbers and investment in the country amid strained relations between Beijing and Canberra.
In 2018, Australia banned Huawei from supplying equipment for a 5G mobile network citing national security risks, a move the company criticised as being politically motivated.
Editing by Alexander Smith and Keith Weir
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