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December 15, 2020
Yet another European mobile network has decided to drop Huawei in favor of a less complicated relationship with a more local vendor.
Proximus, which has already turned to Ericsson and Nokia in its primary market of Belgium, has now also picked Finland-based Nokia for its 5G network in neighboring Luxembourg.
Under a seven-year deal for the Luxembourg network, Nokia said it will supply its AirScale Single RAN (S-RAN) portfolio for both indoor and outdoor coverage, including 5G RAN, AirScale basestations and Nokia AirScale radio access products.
According to Strand Consult, Proximus was previously 100% reliant on equipment from Huawei for its 4G radio access networks (RAN) in Belgium and Luxembourg.
In the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Nokia indicated that it will "replace the incumbent radio vendor in the deal with deployment expected to commence next year."
Orange Luxembourg, also said by Strand Consult to be fully reliant on Huawei equipment for its 4G RAN, has already chosen Nokia for its 5G network. Post Luxembourg, which has not previously used China-based vendors, has retained Sweden-based Ericsson for 5G.
Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on Light Reading.
Although the Luxembourg government does not appear to have banned Huawei from 5G networks, it has clearly been keeping a close eye on the geopolitical situation and the responses of its European neighbors.
According to a report by RTL Luxembourg from August 2020, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, also Minister of Communications, explained that according to Luxembourg law, operators in the Grand Duchy are obliged to ensure the security of their networks.
It would seem that the local operators are taking "geostrategic sensitivity" into account in their selection of vendors, as Bettel suggested they should do.
5G gathers pace
5G services are already available in the Grand Duchy, meanwhile.
Post was the first to launch commercial 5G services in October, followed swiftly by Proximus in the same month and then Orange Luxembourg in November.
Luxembourg's operators acquired 5G-enabling spectrum frequencies in July this year. Orange, Post and Proximus were each awarded one of the three available lots of 2×10MHz in the 700MHz band.
In the 3.6GHz band, Orange and Post each acquired 110MHz of frequencies, Proximus bought 100MHz and telecoms operator Luxembourg Online gained 10MHz. Eltrona participated in the auction but failed to secure spectrum rights.
— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading
Read more about:Europe
Contributing Editor, Light Reading
Anne Morris is a freelance journalist, editor and translator. She has been working in the telecommunications sector since 1996, when she joined the London-based team of Communications Week International as copy editor. Over the years she held the editor position at Total Telecom Online and Total Tele-com Magazine, eventually leaving to go freelance in 2010. Now living in France, she writes for a number of titles and also provides research work for analyst companies.
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