COPENHAGEN — Greenland has picked Sweden’s Ericsson over China’s Huawei to supply equipment for its fifth-generation (5G) telecoms network, state telecoms operator Tele Greenland said on Thursday.
The decision comes as United States is pushing allies to exclude Huawei from 5G deals, and after President Donald Trump in August offered to buy Greenland from Denmark as part of a broader strategic push into the Arctic.
“5G is coming to Greenland, but no date has been set for this yet. We do not see Huawei as a possible supplier of (Tele Greenland’s) 5G network,” its Chief Executive Kristian Reinert Davidsen told broadcaster KNR.
His comments were confirmed to Reuters by a Tele Greenland spokeswoman.
A Huawei spokeswoman in Denmark said the company was not aware of any plans for 5G rollout in Greenland.
“Huawei has no mobile network business in Greenland and had no plans to participate in any 5G rollout in Greenland,” she said.
Tele Greenland’s decision had been made after considering issues like “quality, price and security in the broadest sense,” the company’s chairman Stine Bosse told Reuters.
Ericsson, which last week was picked by Norway’s Telenor as key technology provider of the country’s 5G network, also supplied Greenland’s 4G network.
“It’s hard to say which network is best,” Davidsen told KNR. “We just found that Ericsson was the right choice for us based on all the parameters. It was from an overall point of view, and I can’t say if one is safer than the other.”
A spokeswoman for the Swedish company declined to comment on future plans for 5G rollout in Greenland, but said Tele Greenland is “an important customer” and that its current 4G network in Greenland is based upon Ericsson’s 5G ready products.
Fearing high-tech espionage, and battling with China over trade, the United States has pushed allies to exclude Huawei from lucrative 5G deals. Huawei has denied its equipment can be used for spying.
Earlier this year, privately held Danish telecoms operator TDC also picked Ericsson over Huawei for its 5G network. TDC said it was a commercial decision, but that it “was not blind” to widespread concerns about Huawei and information security.
Additional reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard.