Dutch telecom provider KPN has signed a preliminary agreement with Chinese vendor Huawei to start preparations for the construction of KPN’s new mobile Radio Access Network in the Netherlands, Huawei said in a release.
The RAN project is part of KPN’s mobile network modernization, with an eye toward the future launch of 5G technology. Huawei said that KPN will make a separate decision on the supplier for its 5G core network, in line with its multi-vendor strategy.
Huawei took the occasion of the KPN news to highlight that it “strictly complies with laws and regulations in all countries and regions where it operates.”
“Cyber security has always been Huawei’s top priority and the company has a proven track record of providing secure products and solutions for customers in Europe and around the world,” the Chinese firm said in a statement.
“We are aware
of the concerns and discussions regarding safety and security. It is hard
however to defend yourselves when no clear facts are on the table. For that
reason we welcome the initiative of the Dutch government with the Taskforce. We
will fully cooperate where needed and provide insights and answers where
needed,” said Steven Cai, Huawei’s CEO for the Benelux region.
The Dutch government set up a
task force with KPN and other major carriers in the Netherlands this month to
analyze the vulnerability of 5G telecommunications networks. The government is
expected to make a statement on its position on the use of Chinese technology
by the end of June.
Huawei has 600 employees in the
Netherlands, working from three offices in Amsterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven.
In addition, Huawei has a European Logistics Center in Eindhoven. Earlier this
year, Huawei also announced the opening of a R&D Center in the Netherlands.
already deployed 70,000 5G sites worldwide and signed 40 commercial 5G
In a separate
release, KPN said it is currently reviewing all parts of its fixed and mobile
network and assessing “with which suppliers it can best achieve its network
ambitions”. In this context, KPN has implemented a multi-vendor policy. In the
fixed domain, for example, KPN has recently announced it will work together
with network supplier Nokia.
modernization of its networks, KPN takes into account the evolving assessment
on the protection of vital infrastructure and the influence this may have on
future Dutch policy. In this context KPN has decided to further tighten its
security policy for its fixed and mobile network suppliers.”
the modernization of the mobile network towards 5G, KPN will renew both the
mobile core network which from a security point of view is more sensitive, and
the radio antenna network,” the Dutch carrier said.
KPN said that the agreement with Huawei can be adjusted or reversed to align it with future Dutch government policy.
KPN also said that it plans to select a Western vendor for the construction of the new mobile core network for 5G, as part of its multi-vendor policy.
combined steps enable KPN to execute on the need for a rapid modernization of
the mobile networks towards 5G while taking into account the evolving
assessment on the protection of vital infrastructure. KPN is continuously in
dialogue on this topic with relevant stakeholders, including the government,”
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