Canadian telcos tap Ericsson, Nokia for 5G equipment amid Huawei uncertainty

A general view of an exterior of the Ericsson headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, January 24, 2020. TT News Agency/Fredrik Sandberg via REUTERS

(Reuters) – Bell Canada (BCE.TO) on Tuesday chose Sweden’s Ericsson (ERICb.ST) to be its 5G network equipment supplier, while smaller rival Telus Corp (T.TO) picked Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia Oyj (NOKIA.HE), with Huawei continuing to face an uncertain future in the country.

The announcements come a week after Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was dealt a setback by a Canadian court as she tries to avoid extradition to the United States to face bank fraud charges.

Canada, which is reviewing the security implications of 5G networks, is yet to decide on allowing Huawei to build 5G cellphone networks in the country.

While Huawei awaits the Canadian government’s decision, the company said it supports Bell’s strategy of selecting multiple equipment suppliers, referring to the Canadian telecom firm’s relationship with Huawei to supply other network components.

Earlier on Tuesday, Telefonica Deutschland (O2Dn.DE) signed a deal with Ericsson to build its 5G core mobile network in Germany, saying the choice of the Swedish supplier would safeguard the security of its next-generation services.

Germany’s three main operators are removing Huawei from their network cores, but they continue to rely on the Chinese vendor for the less-sensitive peripheral radio access networks that will carry 5G traffic.

(This story corrects to change Meng Wanzhou’s title to chief financial officer in paragraph 2 from chief operating officer)

Reporting by Neha Malara and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Krishna Chandra Eluri