Germany does not take any measures to explicitly exclude Huawei from its future 5G network. Several German ministers agreed, reports the German Handelsblatt on Thursday. The same was done by France a day or two earlier in response to US pressure applied to ban Huawei equipment. Germany and France had to save reputation while agreeing to the US demands. It was done a very European way.
The move follows the United States’ attempts not to allow equipment from the Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei in European telecom equipment. The US sees convincing European allies as a ‘top priority’.
According to the United States, China uses Huawei equipment to spy in the West. Huawei is, besides maker of smartphones, worldwide the largest supplier of equipment for telecom networks.
Although public evidence for Chinese espionage via Huawei is lacking, in several Western countries, including the Netherlands, the risk regarding the implementation of Huawei equipment in telecom networks is being warned.
The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledges the concerns about Chinese espionage, but according to Handelsblatt also points to the economic interests regarding the construction of the 5G network.
Huawei likely excluded under strict rules
The German telecoms authority and IT authority are currently working on guidelines and conditions concerning the security of the network. According to Handelsblatt sources, these guidelines must be ready before the auction for frequencies for the 5G network starts.
Huawei could still be excluded from 5G networks if these guidelines become very strict.
Moreover, the German government would insist that Huawei equipment is not used in the core of the telecom network. It is the part of the network that processes telephone and internet traffic.