Reuters exclusively reported on Oct. 8 that telecoms operators Orange Belgium and Proximus have decided to progressively replace Huawei-made mobile equipment in Belgium and Luxembourg with Nokia gear, effectively ousting Huawei from the heart of the EU.
The moves are among the first by commercial operators in Europe to drop Huawei from next-generation networks and come after months of diplomatic pressure from Washington, which alleges Huawei equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. Belgian capital Brussels is home to the European Union’s executive body and parliament, making it a matter of particular concern for U.S. intelligence agencies. Huawei, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment supplier, strongly denies the U.S. allegations.
The news – revealed by Reuters and confirmed by Orange Belgium and Proximus the next day – sent Nokia’s shares up by more than 3% when markets opened Friday. It also prompted a public reaction by Keith Krach, U.S. undersecretary at the State Department for economic growth, energy and the environment. “This is the latest example of evaporating Huawei deals and further confirmation of this worldwide momentum towards trusted vendors,” Krach said.
The Reuters scoop, which was as a result of cross-bureau collaboration, was widely picked up by Belgian and French media.
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[Reuters PR Blog Post]
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