KPN insists on Western supplier for core in 5G multi-vendor network

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Dutch operator KPN says it has signed an agreement with Huawei to upgrade its mobile radio and antenna network but will select a “Western vendor” for the core 5G network.

As KPN prepares to launch 5G and roll out fibre to more households in the Netherlands, the operator is currently reviewing all parts of its fixed and mobile network, and assessing suppliers.

Multi-vendor policy

KPN says it is implementing a multi-vendor policy.

The company said in a statement, "For the modernisation of its networks, KPN takes into account the evolving assessment on the protection of vital infrastructure and the influence this may have on future Dutch policy. In this context, KPN has decided to further tighten its security policy for its fixed and mobile network suppliers.

“As regards the modernisation of the mobile network towards 5G, KPN will renew both the mobile core network which from a security point of view is more sensitive, and the radio antenna network.

With this in mind, KPN says it plans to select a Western vendor for the construction of the new mobile core network for 5G.

Ongoing dialogue

In the fixed domain, KPN has recently announced it will work with Nokia. KPN has also signed a preliminary agreement with Huawei for radio and antenna technology.

“This preliminary agreement can be adjusted or reversed to align it with future Dutch government policy,” KPN notes.

The statement said, “These combined steps enable KPN to execute on the need for a rapid modernisation of the mobile networks towards 5G while taking into account the evolving assessment on the protection of vital infrastructure. KPN is continuously in dialogue on this topic with relevant stakeholders, including the government.”