Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Germany ignores US lobby on 5G security

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Friday 08 March 19

The US had called on Germany to ban Huawei from its 5G deployment, but new regulations published today leave the door open for the Chinese vendor in Germany

German telecoms regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), has published a series of security requirements to govern the rollout of 5G in Europe's biggest economy.  The guidelines represent a tightening of security legislation around the country's telecommunications networks but resist US calls for a ban on Chinese network equipment provider…

German telecoms regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), has published a series of security requirements to govern the rollout of 5G in Europe's biggest economy. 

The guidelines represent a tightening of security legislation around the country's telecommunications networks but resist US calls for a ban on Chinese network equipment provider, Huawei, from taking part in the country's 5G deployment.

"We revise the security requirements on a regular basis in light of the current security situation and technological developments," explained Jochen Homann, Bundesnetzagentur president. 

"Security requirements apply to all network operators and service providers, irrespective of the technology they deploy. All networks, not just individual standards like 5G, are included."

The BNetzA recommendations would prohibit the building of network 'monocultures' meaning that all telecommunications networks in the country must be comprised of equipment from more than one vendor. 

While the recommendations do not mention any vendor by name, they do state that German MNO's may only source their equipment for "trustworthy" sources.  

"Systems may only be sourced from trustworthy suppliers whose compliance with national security regulations and provisions for the secrecy of telecommunications and for data protection is assured," a BNetzA spokesperson said, in a statement to the press. 

The recommendations also state that NEP's and network operators must be able to demonstrate "that the hardware tested for the selected, security-related components and the source code at the end of the supply chain are actually deployed in the products used."

 

The US has been lobbying its European allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G rollout programmes, on the basis that they pose a threat to national security. However, both Germany and the UK have so far resisted the call, preferring to work with the Chinese vendor to develop enhanced security protocols for 5G.  

 

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