Huawei battles Sweden’s ‘draconic’ ban as it tries to hold on to European 5G market
Chinese tech giant Huawei has filed an appeal against Sweden's recent decision to phase out the company’s telecom equipment from the roll-out of its next-generation 5G networks in the country.
The lawsuit was sent to an administrative court in Stockholm, the spokesperson for the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) said, as cited by the media.
The appeal comes around two weeks after the telecom regulator banned Huawei and a smaller Chinese company, ZTE, from a planned 5G spectrum auction, scheduled for November 10, and ordered their equipment be removed from the existing infrastructure by 2025. While the watchdog did not explicitly call the companies a security threat, it cited a new domestic law which requires “to ensure that the use of radio equipment in these bands does not cause harm to Sweden's security.”Also on rt.com Europe is ‘far behind’ the rest of the world on 5G deployment, top industry players warn
Huawei wants the court to overrule the PTS’s decision. It asked the Swedish court to look if such a “draconic measure” violates European and national laws, Bloomberg reported, citing court documents.
“We therefore want a Swedish court to look at if the decision has been taken through a proper process and according to the law,” said Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei's executive vice president for Central and East Europe and the Nordic region, Reuters reported. He believes that the ban isn’t good for customers, nor for Sweden in general.
The removal of the Chinese tech behemoth benefits its Nordic rivals, Nokia and Ericsson, which Huawei says could turn the Swedish market into a de facto monopoly.
Sweden’s decision against Huawei comes as some European governments are tightening control on the participation of Chinese companies in the launch of their 5G networks. This followed Washington's allegations that Huawei equipment could be used by Beijing for spying – a claim repeatedly denied by the company.
“Huawei has never caused even the slightest shred of threat to Swedish cybersecurity and never will it do so. Excluding Huawei will not make Swedish 5G networks any more secure. Rather, competition and innovation will be severely hindered,” the company said when Sweden introduced the ban in October.
Despite US attempts to squeeze the Chinese giant out of its major markets, the company earlier expressed confidence that it will be able to further serve European customers in the fast-developing 5G sector and keep a presence in the European market. Last year, the company contributed over €16 billion to European economy, and supported over 200,000 jobs, according to a recent report by Oxford Economics.
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