Portugal will not provide compensation to telecom operators that have to replace high-risk equipment from their 5G networks, from vendors including Huawei.
Huawei has been deemed a high-risk vendor in a number of countries following increased pressure from the US government to ban the vendor over spying claims.
Portugal's move follows reports earlier this year from the government’s cyber security council to consider a ban on Chinese vendor Huawei in the build-out of its 5G network, with the ban intended to label the equipment as "high-risk."
The UK, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have banned Huawei from playing a part in their 5G network infrastructure, while the European Commission has pushed for its member states to remove “high-risk” suppliers such as Huawei and ZTE from their mobile Internet infrastructure upgrades.
Mario Campolargo, the secretary of state for digitalization, stated the cybersecurity council CSSC's decision in May was based on an independent, strict security assessment following European Union guidelines and was not directly aimed at banning Chinese vendors, Reuters reports.
It will take into account an "acceptable balance between security and the investments that were made by the operators," said Campolargo, who reports directly to the prime minister and chairs the CSSC.
"Because there is this balance between security and the operators' return on investment, Portugal does not consider compensating them for replacing equipment," he said, noting that it's a decision that has been made in line with the European Union.
All three of Portugal's three main network operators - Altice, NOS, and Vodafone - have already stated they won't use Huawei's equipment in their 5G core networks.
Last year, Portugal established a law that means it can determine "the exclusion, restrictions on use, or the cessation of use of equipment or services" of telecom companies for security reasons, setting criteria and deadlines for operators to comply.
Huawei slammed the European Commission's (EC) recommendation to its member nations to ban the vendor from their 5G networks.
"Huawei strongly opposes and disagrees with the comments made by representatives from the European Commission. This is clearly not based on a verified, transparent, objective, and technical assessment of 5G networks," a Huawei spokesperson said last month, noting that restrictions based on such judgments will pose serious economic and social risks.