Sweden is banning equipment from Chinese telecommunication firms Huawei and ZTE from its new 5G network.
The ban is to “ensure that the use of frequencies does not endanger the security of Sweden,” said the Swedish Telecom Authority (PTS).
The authority added that Huawei and ZTE equipment already installed will have to be removed by 1 January 2025.
The announcement comes after Sweden’s armed forces and security services made an assessment of telecommunications network tenders.
Sweden’s decision follows the lead of the UK, who decided to ban Huawei from involvement in its 5G network in July.
Several other European countries are gradually closing the door on Huawei or are considering doing so after pressure from the United States, who consider the company as being part of China’s surveillance state.
In France, Huawei will not be subject to a total ban on the 5G market, but operators already using the firm’s equipment will have operating authorisations limited to eight years.
European Commission officials have stated that rivals to Huawei, such as Sweden’s Ericsson or Finland’s Nokia can provide the EU with the necessary 5G infrastructure.
“The new installations in the central functions for the radio use of the frequency bands must be carried out without Huawei or ZTE suppliers”, the Swedish authority said in a press release.
If these central functions of the network are “dependent on staff or functions located abroad, these dependencies must be eliminated and if necessary replaced by staff or functions in Sweden”, the PTS also stated.
In just a few years, Huawei has become the world leader in telecom network equipment with a notable lead over 5G, and now outstrips its rivals in market share.
ZTE is also one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment, such as antennas.
But in Sweden, four operators have been selected for the upcoming auction round on 10 November for 2.3 and 3.5 GHz frequencies for the future 5G network.
These include the former incumbent Telia, as well as Hi3G Access – better known under its “3” trademark – Net4Mobility, and the audiovisual distributor Teracom, says PTS.
The authority did not confirm if Huawei equipment would remain in use for 4G, 3G, and wired internet.