A strong commitment to the Netherlands

(c) Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock
16 May 2017

Huawei signed the first significant contract in Europe in the history of the company in the Netherlands. It has since built a strong position in the local ICT market, connecting more than 10 million people in the Netherlands today.

Huawei set up its office in the Netherlands in Amsterdam in 2005 after signing a contract – the first of its kind for the company in Europe – to build a third-generation network for Telfort, a Dutch mobile operator which was bought by KPN in 2006.

Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei and Telfort CEO Ton aan der Stegge in 2004

Since then, Huawei’s operations in the country have gone from strength to strength. As of January 2016, the company employed 650 staff here, more than 70% of whom were hired locally.

Huawei has three offices in the Netherlands: the Amsterdam HQ, a smaller office in Amstelveen (due to be transferred to a joint Amsterdam office later this year) which is the seat of Huawei’s Enterprise Business Group activities in Western Europe, and an office in Voorburg opened in 2014. The latter is located within walking distance of some of Huawei’s largest carrier customers including KPN and T-Mobile Netherlands. Voorburg is also close to The Hague, seat of the Dutch government and promoting itself as the ICT and cyber security capital of the Netherlands.

Besides the offices, there is also a European Logistics Centre in Eindhoven.

Huawei is committed to continuing its business in the Netherlands, and in the coming years the company will contribute to the digitisation of the Netherlands with its innovative products and solutions. The focus will be on its smart city solutions, through which it can help cities in improving the quality and intelligence of citizens’ lives and enhancing environmental protection, public safety, urban services and business activities. Huawei has already signed Smart City MoUs with five Dutch cities – Amsterdam, The Hague, Tilburg, Groningen and Amstelveen.

Investing in the future together with local carriers

There are 5 operators in the Netherlands. The biggest one, KPN, is also Huawei’s largest customer in the country. Collaboration with KPN started when the company acquired Telfort, the first European operator that signed with Huawei back in 2004. Since then, Huawei and KPN have been working on a number of innovative projects together:

  • In 2016, the two partners agree to widen the scope of their cooperation to jointly develop solutions supporting the digitisation of businesses.
  • The same year, a 5G testbed is created in the Dutch province of North Groningen. The initiative brings together the Economic Board Groningen, KPN, the Dutch Telecommunications Agency (Agentschap Telecom), Vodafone, Huawei,  Ericsson, TNO, the University of Groningen, SURF and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. Together, they research the practical applications of 5G, the next generation of mobile technology.
  • In 2014, Huawei, KPN and China Mobile jointly complete the first IMS-based Voice-Over LTE International Roaming Call.
  • In 2013, Huawei and KPN’s joint Renewable Programme leads to significant improvements in energy efficiency: it achieves a reduction of 3 960 tons CO2 emissions annually.

Huawei’s second largest customer in the country is T-Mobile Netherlands. This has also been a highly successful partnership so far:

  • In 2016 and 2017, the two companies are recognised as the ‘Best Tested Mobile Network’ in the Dutch market by P3, the world's most acknowledged testing agency.
  • Over the past 4 years, T-Mobile Netherlands has been implementing a complete new nationwide mobile network based on Huawei SingleRAN. This technology provides the carrier with a huge competitive advantage by enabling it to add capacity within a very short timeframe at a lower cost level. In the next phase of network development, T-Mobile will further exploit SingleRAN and develop a new range of network solutions on top of that.

Success through cooperation: an overview of key events and achievements


  • Work towards the creation of the 5Groningen Living Lab gets underway. At the lab, 5G applications will be tested and developed.
  • T-Mobile launches the very competitive unlimited data package for which they need a huge capacity improvement; the operator signs a deal with Huawei to deliver this.
  • Huawei wins a bid from Radboud Medical Centre to provide direct indoor coverage in the hospital.


  • After Amsterdam, The Hague and Tilburg, Groningen becomes the fourth Dutch city to sign a Smart City agreement with Huawei.
  • In March, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visits Huawei’s HQ in Shenzhen where he meets with Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei.

The visit contributes to a better recognition of Huawei and a deepened understanding of Huawei’s corporate governance structure, innovation and corporate social responsibility aspects. Huawei reiterates its commitment to improving trust by building a more stable and harmonious environment for Dutch telecom operators, businesses and consumers.

It highlights the success of Huawei’s localisation policy – integration, local recruitment and open cooperation with Dutch society.