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Posted on : Friday 19th June 2020 11:16 AM

EU Assessing Security Risks to 5G

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The European Union stated that it may deem some 5G suppliers a security risk, noting that Chinese law requires domestic companies to collaborate with intelligence agencies. The EU will likely not target China's Huawei Technologies Co "from the outset", Security Commissioner Julian King told reporters last Friday. But he said that Chinese national intelligence law "puts certain quite broad requirements on organisations or citizens to support or cooperate or collaborate with national intelligence work". He added: "It is indeed possible that we reach the conclusion that in some cases, some products, services and suppliers are deemed unsafe."

US President Donald Trump has advocated for a global barring on Huawei on security grounds, notifying European telecom operators who rely on the company's equipment to run networks. Taking out Huawei and ZTE Corp from the next generation of mobile networks would likely burden European phone companies with 55 billion euros (S$84 billion) in unnecessary costs and hold off the 5G roll-out, the wireless industry's main lobby group GSMA said last month.

"There's a lot of debate about Huawei," Mr King said. "It's not because we're obsessing about China. We're trying to develop a risk assessment across this market", and major suppliers will feature in the discussion. Whilst individual European governments are entirely free to block a 5G supplier over security concerns, Mr King said that he hoped they would rely on a risk assessment that he is putting together by Oct 1, based on information from all EU members.

"Huawei welcomes the fact-based approach that the EU plans to take in reviewing the national risk assessments of 5G network infrastructure," the company explained in a statement. "It is now more important than ever to develop a common approach to cyber security."

The EU is quite powerless to force its member states to follow by its ideas, but Mr King said that the report should assist them "reach a view on whether particular products, services or suppliers are sufficiently safe" as states make choices on high-speed 5G spectrum auctions and network deployment, he told a Brussels press conference.

Whilst outright bans on Huawei appear less likely in Europe - the region that it relies on most for growth outside China - countries like for example Germany, France and Britain have signaled more limited boundaries and tighter oversight of their networks.

Huawei's European smartphone sales reduced last month, according to market research firm Kantar, after a US component supply ban on the Chinese manufacturer threatened its access to crucial handset software.


5g 5g network 5g mobile network eu europe

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