The Stockholm Administrative Court on Tuesday upheld a 5G equipment sales ban against Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies. The Swedish telecom regulator, the Post and Telecom Authority (PTS), had banned the company and its Chinese counterpart, Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Corporation (ZTE), in October last year citing security concerns raised by the Swedish intelligence services.
PTS had also formulated two conditions for applicants to its spectrum auctions in the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz bands, which are central to the development of the country’s 5G network. PTS’ terms required that new installations cannot be carried out with Huawei products and a phase-out of Huawei products from existing infrastructure must be completed before 1 January 2025.
Huawei had appealed the PTS decision before the Stockholm administrative court in November and argued that the arbitrary conditions for suppliers to 5G network operators should be removed. The Stockholm court granted Huawei a partial injunction on the PTS decision owing to the ban’s potential to cause extensive financial and goodwill damage. PTS had appealed this judgment before the Court of Appeal which revoked the injunction and held that the regulator can continue to apply its conditions for 5G network expansion despite the judicial review pending before the Stockholm administrative court.
Now that the Stockholm court has announced its verdict, the telecom giant still has an option to appeal before the Court of Appeal. However, with other countries like France, Germany, UK and Italy increasingly limiting its participation in their 5G rollouts, the company appears to have several battles ahead before it can make its mark in the European market.