No Huawei ban in Dutch 5G rollout: government

FILE PHOTO: A Huawei logo and a 5G sign are pictured at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government will force telecoms companies to vet their equipment suppliers more thoroughly as they roll out 5G mobile networks, but made no mention of banning China’s Huawei or any other supplier over spying fears.

In a letter to parliament, Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said a task force set up to examine the threat from state-backed spying in 5G networks had concluded that was a “sufficient answer to the threat”.

While the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD has issued several warnings this year about Chinese and Russian spying, a key advisory body last week said the Dutch should follow Britain and Germany’s lead and not exclude Huawei completely.

Grapperhaus said the task force carried out a risk assessment with the three big Dutch telecommunications providers, KPN, T-Mobile and VodafoneZiggo.

Dutch telecoms companies will now have “extra high standards” for equipment suppliers, he said.

Grapperhaus ordered an inquiry last week when telecoms company KPN suffered a nationwide network outage that knocked out emergency service numbers for nearly four hours.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Keith Weir