Pompeo urges EU to exclude 'high-risk suppliers' from 5G networks, after bloc spares Huawei from ban
- The EU on Wednesday issued guidelines allowing members to decide what part China’s Huawei Technologies can play in their 5G telecoms networks
- The US wants the world to ban Huawei from the West’s next-generation 5G networks on fears its gear could be used by China for spying
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday urged the European Union to exclude “high-risk” suppliers from all parts of 5G networks.
The United States wants the world to ban Huawei from the West’s next-generation 5G networks on fears that its gear could be used by China for spying, allegations which the company has strongly rejected.
EU countries can either restrict or exclude high-risk 5G vendors like Huawei from core parts of their telecoms networks, according to the new guidelines, which seek to address the cybersecurity risks to the bloc’s 28 countries at a national and EU level.
Pompeo praised the EU’s Network Information Security Cooperation Group recommended measures to mitigate security risks in 5G networks. The group acknowledged suppliers with high risk profiles should face additional restrictions, Pompeo said.
“It is misguided to think that the risks associated with installing equipment from suppliers subject to control by authoritarian regimes with a track record of malign cyber behaviour can be mitigated,” Pompeo said.
Huawei is the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, competing with Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia.
The European Union sees 5G as key to boosting economic growth and competing with the United States and China, and its recommendations, agreed by EU members, are that individual countries assess the risks and decide whether to exclude suppliers from core infrastructure, confirming a Reuters report on January 22.
Huawei welcomed the guidelines, describing them as non-biased and fact-based.
The commission said it was ready to bolster the bloc’s 5G cybersecurity by using trade defence tools against dumping or foreign subsidies.
Lobbying group ETNO, whose members include Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefonica, which all use Huawei equipment, had warned against disproportionate actions which may affect their investments.
EU countries have until April to implement the guidelines and June to report on their progress.