Tuesday, 19 February 2019

DT proposes action plan to keep Huawei involved in Germany's 5G rollout

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Thursday 31 January 19

Deutsche Telekom has recently warned of the dangers of banning Huawei from its German 5G operations, saying that it would negatively impact its ability to rollout next generation mobile networks

Deutsche Telekom has suggested a new security certification process for mobile network equipment, which would allow telcos in Germany to continue to use products from Chinese vendors in their 5G rollout plans.  The German government has been holding a series of meetings to discuss whether or not to ban Chinese firms…

Deutsche Telekom has suggested a new security certification process for mobile network equipment, which would allow telcos in Germany to continue to use products from Chinese vendors in their 5G rollout plans. 

The German government has been holding a series of meetings to discuss whether or not to ban Chinese firms, ostensibly Huawei and ZTE, from being involved in its 5G network architecture. 

The US alleges that Huawei's network equipment could be less secure than that of its competitors and has banned China's biggest tech firm from participating in its 5G network build. The US is now in the process of trying to rally its allies to follow suit. 

With Huawei enjoying a 35 per cent market share in Western Europe, any move to ban the Chinese vendor would have disastrous financial consequences for the telcos who rely on its network equipment. In Germany, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica Deutschland and Vodafone all use Huawei equipment in their current networks, with DT and Vodafone both warning of the dangers that banning Huawei in Europe would create.  

In a statement to the press, Deutsche Telekom laid out a series of steps that would allow the German authorities to independently verify the security of network equipment from Chinese vendors.  

"Deutsche Telekom takes the global debate on the security of network equipment from Chinese providers very seriously," the company said in a statement.

DT suggested that all critical infrastructure should be independently verified by an independent security specialist, who would then report directly to the German government.

The company also suggested that network equipment providers should be required to share the source code upon which their equipment runs, to a third-party regulator. 

Huawei echoed the comments of Vodafone CEO, Nick Read, in its response to DT's proposal, saying that the industry needed to move towards a more "fact based" discussion on network security. 

"It is up to policymakers, regulators and the industry to work out the details, but such an initiative makes a vital contribution to making the debate about 5G more fact based," a company spokesperson said. 

Also in the news

German regulator reveals that four players are interested in acquiring 5G spectrum

DT launches legal appeal against German 5G auction rules

Deutsche Telekom reveals ambitious plans for 5G in rural Germany

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