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Brazil Can Join the Growing Clean Network by Banning Huawei

By Keith Krach

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.

UK to Place New Restrictions on High-risk 5G Vendors

By The Editors of AGL

Huawei escaped being completely banned from 5G networks in the United Kingdom, as ministers today determined that UK operators should put in place additional safeguards and exclude high risk vendors from parts of the telecoms network that are critical to security.

High risk vendors are those who pose greater security and resilience risks to UK telecoms networks. Carriers will be advised on who those companies are by National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) after a supply chain review.

However, judgement has already come down on Huawei, which will be excluded from the cores of 5G networks. The Chinese company’s share of the market will also be capped at 35 percent. It will also be excluded from sensitive geographic locations, such as nuclear sites and military bases.

Parallel Wireless CEO, Steve Papa, who is part of a group that is consulting the U.S. government on Huawei alternatives, said restrictions open the door for alternative equipment providers in the United Kingdom, such as OpenRAN, which allows operators to introduce more software and use a broader selection of equipment to build out networks.

“A restricted role for Huawei is positive news for the UK telecoms industry, but only if there is a credible alternative,” he said. “Dominant telecoms giants like Huawei supply technology which is very hardware-centric and incompatible with other vendors’ equipment. Once Huawei’s technology is installed in a network, operators are locked-in to the company’s lengthy network upgrade cycles and are restricted from exploring alternatives.”

Britain Edges Toward Letting Huawei in

By The Editors of AGL

Britain is moving forward toward granting Huawei a limited role in the UK’s future 5G network, despite U.S. calls for a complete ban, Reuters reported today.

“The officials proposed barring Huawei from the sensitive, data-heavy “core” part of the network and restricted government systems, closely mirroring a provisional decision made last year under former Prime Minister Theresa May,” Reuters reported.

The news wasn’t much better on Monday when the European Union announced that it won’t explicitly ban Huawei when it unveils its 5G guidelines for member states. While the EU has limited control over each country, its announcement probably is a harbinger of the prevailing European sentiments.

In Germany, for example, officials debating whether to allow Huawei to build its 5G network are between a rock and a hard place. If they don’t ban Huawei, they face threatened tariffs against German carmakers from the United States, but they may lose the Chinese market for those same cars they do.

“For months, German lawmakers have danced around the issue of whether to effectively exclude Huawei from the bidding process. The issue is expected to be debated in Parliament again in the coming weeks,” according the New York Times.

But there has been movement forward for Huawei. This week, Morocco announced it will upgrade to the 5G network using Huawei equipment, according to Ecofin Agency.

British business minister Andrea Leadsom bemoaned the lack of alternative infrastructure providers in an interview with Reuters, but Steve Papa, CEO, Parallel Wireless, has pointed out that open radio access networks (ORAN) will increase that competition.

“Operators need more competition in their supply chains, promoting more innovation, and reducing the cost of improving rural 4G and rolling-out 5G,” Papa said in a prepared release. “Operators in Europe have already seen the value in [the ORAN] approach. Vodafone is planning to put its entire European network up for tender to technology suppliers that can enable more open networks. This is a good opportunity for the UK’s telecoms industry to re-evaluate the technology it is using and change the economics of delivering connectivity to their customers.”

U.S. Legislation Would Boost Open RAN

Meanwhile, bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation this week to invest $1 billion in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers Huawei and ZTE. The bill said Huawei and ZTE, which are heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, pose threats to U.S. economic and national security, and U.S. efforts to establish a global boycott failed because of a “lack of viable, affordable alternatives.”

“Every month that the U.S. does nothing, Huawei stands poised to become the cheapest, fastest, most ubiquitous global provider of 5G, while U.S. and Western companies and workers lose out on market share and jobs,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). “It is imperative that Congress address the complex security and competitiveness challenges that Chinese-directed telecommunication companies pose.”

The bill, known as the Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act, would attempt to encourage development of an open-architecture model that would allow for alternative vendors to enter the market for specific network components, rather than having to compete with Huawei end-to-end.

“This bill, which will supply the U.S. government with resources to help the private sector create viable 5G alternatives from all ends of the supply chain, is a long overdue step in the right direction. As I’ve said over and over again, confronting China is not the same as being competitive with China. It is time we do just that,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

 

Bipartisan Legislation Backs 5G Alternatives to Huawei

A bipartisan group of national security Senators introduced have legislation to invest $1 billion in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers Huawei and ZTE. The bill said the companies, which are heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, pose threats to U.S. economic and national security, and U.S. efforts to establish a global boycott failed because of a “lack of viable, affordable alternatives.” The group of senators, Mark Warner (D-Va.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Michael Bennet (D-Co.), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), voiced a feeling of urgency in their comments.

“Every month that the U.S. does nothing, Huawei stands poised to become the cheapest, fastest, most ubiquitous global provider of 5G, while U.S. and Western companies and workers lose out on market share and jobs,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). “It is imperative that Congress address the complex security and competitiveness challenges that Chinese-directed telecommunication companies pose.”

The bill, known as the Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act, would attempt to encourage development of an open-architecture model (known as O-RAN) that would allow for alternative vendors to enter the market for specific network components, rather than having to compete with Huawei end-to-end.

“This bill, which will supply the U.S. government with resources to help the private sector create viable 5G alternatives from all ends of the supply chain, is a long overdue step in the right direction. As I’ve said over and over again, confronting China is not the same as being competitive with China. It is time we do just that,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act would:

·      Require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to direct at least $750 million, or up to 5 percent of annual auction proceeds, from new auctioned spectrum licenses to create an O-RAN R&D Fund to spur movement towards open-architecture, software-based wireless technologies, funding innovative, ‘leap-ahead’ technologies in the U.S. mobile broadband market. The fund would be managed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), with input from the FCC, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), among others;
·      Create a $500 million Multilateral Telecommunications Security Fund, working with our foreign partners, available for 10 years to accelerate the adoption of trusted and secure equipment globally and to encourage multilateral participation, and require reports for Congress on use of proceeds and progress against goals to ensure ample oversight;
·      Create a transition plan for the purchase of new equipment by carriers that will be forward-compatible with forthcoming O-RAN equipment so small and rural carriers are not left behind;
·      Increase U.S. leadership in International Standards Setting Bodies (ISSBs) by encouraging greater U.S. participation in global and regional telecommunications standards forums and requiring the FCC write a report to Congress with specific recommendations;
·      Expand market opportunities for suppliers and promote economies of scale for equipment and devices by encouraging the FCC to harmonize new commercial spectrum allocations with partners where possible, thus promoting greater alignment with allies and driving down the cost of Huawei alternatives.