July 30, 2020 / 11:37 AM / 14 days ago

REFILE-EXCLUSIVE-Portugal telcos won't use Huawei for core 5G networks though no gov't ban

(Adds dropped word "core" in headline)

LISBON, July 30 (Reuters) - NOS, Altice and Vodafone, which dominate Portugal's market, said they will not use Huawei's technology in their 5G core networks despite the government not banning the Chinese giant from the critical infrastructure.

A NOS spokeswoman said the company "will not have Huawei equipment in its core network" and will choose the "best partners" for each of the network's components.

A Vodafone Portugal spokeswoman said the company will not use it, either.

Altice Portugal CEO Alexandre Fonseca said the same in March. The company said this remained their position.

Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos confirmed to Reuters that he "heard Huawei would be left out" but added: "It has nothing to do with the options or impositions of the Portuguese government, which in this matter is absolutely aligned with the European orientation."

"We have no 'a priori' issues with any manufacturer," Nuno Santos said, revealing that a group created by the Portuguese government to assess risks and cybersecurity issues relating to 5G had completed its work and not drawn any conclusions directed against any particular supplier.

Huawei did not immediately reply to a request for comment. (Reporting by Sergio Goncalves; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Jason Neely)

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