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Telecom Tech Firms Boost Green Initiatives for 5G

By Mike Harrington

5G telecom vendors — like the 5G telecom carriers profiled in a Sept. 9 eDigest story — are stepping up their green initiatives to meet the power-hungry demands of 5G base stations, which can consume up to three times more power than 4G and LTE networks.

Telecom manufacturers such as Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and Huawei have invested heavily in green energy programs during the last few years.

“Can we rollout 5G and reduce energy consumption?” Ericsson asks on its Twitter page. “The answer is yes. It is possible to break the energy curve. We see this as an opportunity to rethink how to build, operate and manage networks in a smarter and more strategic way. It is not only an option it is an industry responsibility. The report presents how to reduce energy consumption of mobile networks, as well as solutions to manage mobile broadband traffic growth including 5G roll-outs.”

Ericsson estimates the global energy cost of running mobile networks is about $25 billion yearly, making energy consumption one of the wireless industry’s biggest challenges — Huawei from both cost and carbon footprint perspectives.

A supporter of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and an active member of the Exponential Roadmap initiative, Ericsson has invested in solar power and other alternative energies. According to an Ericsson blog written by Saud Saya, site product and portfolio director at business area networks, “Ericsson acknowledges the energy challenges, costs and associated emissions that our industry is currently facing and is playing a leading role in addressing them through site products and solution innovations. These include industry best practices and designs, which enable service providers to build and deploy 5G with safety, simplicity and cost effectiveness front of mind.”

Meanwhile, Nokia’s website says the company is on a journey to a greener world. “Our aim is that every new product is more energy efficient than the previous model,” the website reads. “Nokia is using renewable energy in its own operations wherever available. For example, our operations in Finland are powered 100 percent by renewable energy sources.”

Nokia’s website features this statement: “80 percent of a mobile network’s energy is consumed by base station sites. Mobile operators report an increase of 10 to 30 percent annually in mobile network energy use. For example, the addition of LTE to existing GSM/WCDMA base station sites accounts for a 20 percent increase in energy consumption. Nokia’s zero emission site can cut the energy consumption of such sites by 70 percent.”

Aron Heller, lead writer and editor at Nokia Cloud and Network Services

In July 2021, Aron Heller, lead writer and editor at Nokia Cloud and Network Services, posted an article discussing the importance of sustainability in the 5G market. “The telecom industry has had a long reputation of being wasteful,” the article reads. “But as climate change continues to worsen, sustainability has become a major corporate driving force with companies investing heavily in boosting productivity without further taxing the planet. Judging by revenue, more than a third of the mobile industry has already credibly committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 or before.”

Meanwhile, Samsung has a won a number of the EPA’s Energy Star program awards, including the 2020 Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award for continued leadership and superior contributions to the EPA’s Energy Star program. The award recognizes EPA partner businesses and organizations in good standing that demonstrate superior leadership, innovation, and commitment to environmental protection through energy efficiency and Energy Star.

Samsung, which manufacturers most of its products domestically in South Korea, has closer ties to the United States than its European rivals Nokia and Ericsson — both of which have significant manufacturing operations in China. Furthermore, Samsung purchases 100 percent renewable energy in the United States,

In July 2021, Samsung launched its SmartThings Energy, a new service within its app that allows consumers to take control of their energy consumption with monitoring, target-setting and notifications of its Samsung appliances and HVAC systems. By improving consumers’ household energy IQ, SmartThings Energy has the power to reduce monthly energy bills and contribute to a lower carbon footprint.

Chanwoo Park, vice president and head of IoT business group at Samsung Electronics

“People are spending more time at home and using their appliances more frequently, driving a need for larger capacity and better energy efficiency,” said Chanwoo Park, vice president and head of IoT business group at Samsung Electronics. “Our consumers want to be part of building a better, more ecofriendly tomorrow, and we are proud to help them achieve that vision by offering a more energy-efficient smart home experience.”

Huawei International, a China-based multinational designer and developer of telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics, said it is “working to build a greener, better and smarter world.” On Aug, 27, Huawei said it gathered the sharpest minds and impactful voices at Huawei Digital Power Summit 2021 Singapore to engage in conversations on creating a future where energy and technological innovation go hand in hand to create a sustainable ecosystem. Foo Fang Yong, CEO of Huawei International, said, “Huawei will mark its 20th anniversary in Singapore with core products and initiatives designed to push industry standards, systems integration and more.”

Terry Gao, managing director of Huawei Digital Power Singapore, said, “Like many nations across the globe, Singapore has outlined its future roadmap towards net-zero emissions, and Huawei’s commitment to energy transformation will play a pivotal role. A significant component of this transformation is made possible with digitalization. For digitization to be successful, we need more efficient data centers to be powered sufficiently and reliably. The establishing of Huawei Digital Power will allow Singapore to push ahead with more support as power digitalization takes shape.”

Mike Harrington is a contributing editor.

Scalise, Eshoo Introduce Bill to Protect U.S. Telecom Networks Against Chinese National Security Threats

Today, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced the Secure Equipment Act of 2021 to prohibit the FCC from reviewing or issuing new equipment licenses to companies on the FCC’s Covered Equipment or Services List that pose a national security threat.

This legislation would prevent equipment manufactured by Chinese state-backed firms such as Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision and Dahua from being further used and marketed in the United States.

As directed by Congress, in 2020, the FCC published a list of telecommunications companies deemed to be a national security threat, prohibited the use of federal funds for purchasing equipment made by those companies and authorized funding for U.S. telecommunications carriers to rip and replace equipment made by those companies. Yet, carriers can still privately purchase this equipment on the open market. The Secure Equipment Act adds an extra layer of security that slams the door on Chinese actors from having a presence in the U.S. telecommunications network.

“For far too long, we’ve allowed manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE – backed by the Chinese Communist Party – to have access to American networks, which has jeopardized our national security and threatened the individual safety of the American people,” said Scalise. “China must be stopped from doing further damage to our telecommunications network, and I’m proud to sponsor this important legislation with Rep. Eshoo to strengthen our national security and stand up to subsidiaries of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Eshoo said that, for more than a decade, she has fought to address vulnerabilities telecommunications infrastructure that affect national security.

“Sadly, in the intervening years, providers have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment made by Huawei and ZTE, Chinese state-directed companies that sell compromised equipment,” she said. “Our legislation would further strengthen U.S. telecommunications networks by prohibiting equipment manufactured by entities that are a threat to our national security. I’m proud to work across the aisle with Rep. Scalise on this critical legislation to make our nation safer.”

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said that he commended Scalise and Eshoo for their leadership in securing America’s communications infrastructure.

“Their bipartisan Secure Equipment Act would close a glaring loophole that Huawei and other entities are exploiting today to place their insecure gear into our networks,” Carr said. “I applaud their work to eliminate the threats posed by this equipment.”

FCC Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel said that the introduction of the Secure Equipment Act of 2021 is welcome news.

“This legislation will help protect our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders,” Rosenworcel said. “We’re not wasting time. Last month, I shared a plan with my colleagues to update the FCC’s equipment authorization procedures consistent with this effort. I thank Congresswoman Eshoo and Congressman Scalise for their work — having this policy written into the law will send a strong, bipartisan signal that the United States is committed to developing a market for secure 5G alternatives.”

Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced similar legislation in the Senate last month.

Source: Office of Congressman Steve Scalise


Carr Praises Rubio, Markey Bill to Close Huawei Loophole

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has applauded the introduction of the Secure Equipment Act by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). Their legislation would close a loophole that allows equipment from Huawei, ZTE and others to continue to be used in the United States despite the FCC’s determination that those entities pose an unacceptable risk to national security. Two months ago, Carr highlighted the loophole that Huawei and others have been using during an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

“I applaud Senator Rubio and Senator Markey for their leadership and bold action,” Carr said. “Their legislation would strengthen our national security by ensuring that we close the loophole that Huawei and others are using right now, despite our determination that their gear poses an unacceptable risk to our national security.”

Last year, the FCC adopted rules that require U.S. telecom carriers to remove and replace equipment produced by Huawei, ZTE and other entities due to national security concerns. Carr said that it was an important step that substantially advanced America’s national security.

“However,” Carr said, “those rules only apply to equipment purchased with federal funding. The FCC’s rules expressly allow carriers to use private funds to purchase and use that exact same equipment. And Huawei has been taking advantage of that backdoor into our networks. Indeed, a review of the FCC’s database shows that over 3,000 applications from Huawei alone have been approved since 2018, ranging from network gear to tracking devices.”

Carr said that it is time to close what he called a glaring loophole.

“Once we have determined that Huawei or other gear poses an unacceptable national security risk, it makes no sense to allow that exact same equipment to be purchased and inserted into our communications networks as long as federal dollars are not involved,” he said. “The presence of these insecure devices in our networks is the threat, not the source of funding used to purchase them. Senator Rubio and Senator Markey are taking the quick and decisive action necessary to safeguard our national security. And I am pleased that they have worked to introduce this legislation.”

Source: FCC

Brazil Can Join the Growing Clean Network by Banning Huawei

By Keith Krach


Whoever builds a nation’s 5G networks gains the key to that country’s most sensitive personal, commercial and governmental data. Trusted firms such as Ericsson and Nokia from Europe and Samsung from the Republic of Korea have earned the trust of people and governments around the world. At the same time, other entities are losing that trust: most notably, the People’s Republic of China and the companies that its government controls, including Huawei.

In just the past eight months, the Chinese government concealed an outbreak that became a global pandemic, eviscerated Hong Kong’s freedoms, instigated a bloody skirmish on the Indian border and persisted with Gulag-style brutality in the camps of Xinjiang. These abuses are made possible by an Orwellian big brother surveillance state that tracks billions of people worldwide; and by the Great One-Way China Firewall, where data comes in but not out, and propaganda goes out but the truth doesn’t come in.

“The U.S. government and its partners around the world are accelerating efforts to protect global economic security by restricting Huawei and other untrusted vendors’ involvement in 5G networks.”

— Keith Krach, State Department undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment.

Huawei is the backbone of China’s worldwide surveillance state. It presents itself as a private and independent company, yet it must abide by China’s National Intelligence Law by turning over private citizen and business data to the Chinese government upon request. This means any nation that trusts Huawei with its communications networks gives the Chinese government a key that can unlock the door to any data that crosses those networks, including text messages, intellectual property and sensitive business and government communications. Huawei’s well-established track record demonstrates how routinely it violates public trust, along with the local laws of the countries where it operates.

The U.S. government and its partners around the world are accelerating efforts to protect global economic security by restricting Huawei and other untrusted vendors’ involvement in 5G networks. A trusted network offers a comprehensive approach to addressing the long-term threats to data privacy, security, human rights and trusted collaboration.

There are now over 30 countries in the Clean Network around the world. These countries are joined by most of the largest telecom companies such as Telefonica in Spain, Orange in France, Telco Italia, Reliance in India, SK and KT in Korea, and all telecommunication companies in Japan, Singapore, Australia and the United States.

As a response to the increasing number of countries and companies questioning Huawei’s trustworthiness, Huawei has escalated its already aggressive lobbying and media campaigns, including in Brazil. A Huawei representative recently alleged that restrictions on Huawei would increase the cost of 5G in Brazil by up to five times — another example of Huawei’s misinformation campaign. Trusted companies that adhere to the rule of law and operate in good faith do not attempt to intimidate governments and their citizens with baseless threats. And contrary to what Huawei would have you believe, choosing trusted communications equipment providers doesn’t necessarily come with an increase in costs.

As U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made clear, the United States stands with all countries against Chinese bullying. We stood with the United Kingdom as it retaliated against its decision to ban Huawei from its 5G networks, and we will stand with our Brazilian partners against any Chinese coercion or bullying directed at you.

As Brazilians weigh the risks inherent in Huawei’s relationship with the Chinese government, its opaque ownership structure, history of intellectual property theft, dishonest lobbying, and willingness to use commercial threats to advance geopolitical objectives, we want you to know that the United States stands ready to work with you. Brazil deserves access to open, innovative and trusted 5G technology that can contribute to your nation’s prosperity.

Source: U.S. Department of State. Keith Krach is undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment. Krach wrote this article for O Globo, a Brazilian newspaper in Rio De Janeiro. 

Europe Still Up in the Air Over Huawei

By The Editors of AGL

France is considering restricting the use of Huawei’s 5G equipment in major cities and imposing a shorter authorization period than either Nokia and Ericsson face, according to accounts in the French media.

The Chinese embassy in France said it was “deeply shocked and concerned” that the country appears to be changing its position, in a piece posted on its web site.

“President Emmanuel Macron and other senior French officials have repeatedly reiterated that on the issue of 5G, France will not take discriminatory measures against a specific country or company, nor would it exclude Huawei. So, if the French media reports prove to be accurate, it is clearly contrary to the commitment made by the French government,” the embassy wrote.

The back and forth between the Chinese embassy and French officials is just another example of how controversial Huawei continues to be in the 5G space.

In the United Kingdom, where it looked like the Huawei issue was settled, senior conservatives have written to MPs to express concerns at Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network, calling on Boris Johnson to rule out the involvement of “high risk” vendors now and in the future, according to a report in the Financial Times.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives are recommending tougher rules on 5G mobile networks from foreign vendors, while stopping short of banning China’s Huawei, according to Reuters.