October 9, 2020, 07.06 PM

"This is the outcome of a tender organized by operators and the result of the free market," a Huawei spokesman said.

"We embrace fair competition, the more diversified a supply chain the more competitive it becomes," he said, adding Huawei had been supplying equipment in Belgium for more than a decade and its commitment remained unchanged.

The deals to supply radio gear to Orange Belgium and Proximus are a boost for Nokia, which struggled to make headway in the 5G network market earlier this year even as Huawei was under pressure.

"I have tried to become RAN (radio access network) supplier to Orange Belgium since 2003 when the company was still Mobistar. Here we are, finally," tweeted Tommi Uitto, President of Nokia Mobile Networks.

Read also: Brussels to Rename Road Tunnel Linked to Belgium’s Colonial Past

The companies did not disclose a value for the contracts. Nokia shares were up nearly 3 percent in early trading.

Orange Belgium and Proximus said Ericsson would supply the core of their 5G networks, a smaller slice of the business.

EU members have been stepping up scrutiny of so-called high-risk vendors.

This subjects Huawei's governance and technology to critical examination and is likely to lead other European operators to strip it from their networks, analysts say.

Nokia and Ericsson have been the main beneficiaries of the challenges facing Huawei. From Bell Canada and Telus Corp in Canada to BT in Britain, the Nordic companies have been grabbing market share from the Chinese firm.

Separately, Nokia said it had won a contract to provide data management software to Telefonica UK, replacing an unidentified existing vendor.

(Writers: Supantha Mukherjee, Mathieu Rosemain | Editors: Jason Neely, Mark Potter)

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-orange-nokia-security-5g/huawei-ousted-from-heart-of-eu-as-nokia-wins-belgian-5g-contracts-idUSKBN26U0YY 

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