Netherlands Ponders Restrictions on Huawei Ahead of 5G Auction

Netherlands Ponders Restrictions on Huawei Ahead of 5G Auction

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The Dutch government will need to make a decision this year on whether to restrict Huawei from playing a role in building a 5G network in the Netherlands, according to Bloomberg.

The economy ministry is set to auction 5G mobile frequencies this autumn, with the criteria for selection depending on the government’s China strategy, due to be presented before the summer, the Dutch newspaper Trouw said, citing a ministry spokesman. Part of the strategy to be outlined is an assessment of how the country can protect critical technology from Chinese state-owned enterprises.

The Netherlands would potentially follow allies including other European nations and the U.S., Canada and Australia if it opted to restrict the Chinese telecom firm’s operations due to concerns about Chinese state-backed espionage, the newspaper said. Huawei currently delivers equipment to nearly all the Dutch telecom providers.

Last year, the Dutch Parliament announced it will seek to build a 5G network. At the same time, the General Intelligence and Security Service warned against Chinese espionage, spurring a government probe into the telecom sector’s dependence on foreign technology. A government spokesman confirmed that the ministry aims to auction the frequencies at the end of 2019 or in early 2020.

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