Published: Fri, February 22, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Is U.S. security concerns on Huawei's 5G political in nature?

Is U.S. security concerns on Huawei's 5G political in nature?

Pressure has been growing on Huawei in Britain, one of its most important markets in Europe, since a government report in July a year ago found that technical and supply-chain issues with the company's equipment had exposed national telecom networks to new security risks.

In the UK, Huawei is monitored by the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC), a body that contains Huawei officials, UK Government representatives and mobile operators.

The cybersecurity center in July identified technical issues in Huawei's engineering processes that could make it less safe.

One of the two sources of British securities told in terms of anonymity, "We don't favor a complete ban".

"As we said then, and repeat today, these problems are about standard of cyber security; they are not indicators of hostile activity by China", he said. "The two billion United States dollars would be used primarily for legacy code refactoring, training or upskilling of R&D engineers, so that in the next three to five years, Huawei can truly build products that would be trusted by governments and by customers, so as to support and sustain Huawei's long-term development.", concluded Mr. Xu. Banning Huawei could also delay the rollout of 5G networks, which are considered necessary for the next generation of internet-connected things, from self-driving cars to smart factories.

The UK government is now looking at the issue of 5G security with a review expected to be published in the spring which could include a decision on whether Huawei technology can be used in future 5G networks.

But the author of the RUSI report, Charles Parton, a former diplomat with more than 20 years service in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said: "Allowing Huawei's participation is at best naive, at worst irresponsible".

Britain is a particularly appealing target for interference as a close United States ally with a large Chinese ethnic community and an open, advanced economy, Parton said. "The techniques the Russians used to target those networks were looking for weaknesses in how they were architected and how they were run".

He made the remarks in a speech at a cyber security conference in Brussels, according to a transcript on the website of NCSC.

Martin said there was a need for higher standards of cyber security across the entire telecommunications sector. Radhe Shyam Sarda, the firm's wireless CTO said the company invests over five per cent of its total R&D spending in cyber security. They produce some of the most advanced chips in the world, including mobile phone and AI processors.

"I think a lot of countries are dealing with this's not a five eyes issues, most countries in the world are dealing with 5G and the technology associated with an age when cyber security is probably the single biggest threat issues agencies around the world are having to deal with", Mr Little said.

Experts say Huawei networks are generally cheaper than those of competitors and are of a high quality, making it a hard decision for governments and telecom operators to shun the supplier altogether. Networks are built by human beings and human beings make mistakes.

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