Germany has confirmed it will allow mobile operators in the country to use Huawei’s 5G equipment in a major boost for the vendor.
New security guidelines published by German communications regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) make no specific provisions for the company, instead placing additional requirements for all manufacturers.
The guidelines state that vendors must be trustworthy, critical components must be certified, security monitoring must be introduced and that only trained professionals are to be employed in security related areas.
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There are also provisions for redundancy and a call for operators to avoid monocultures, presumably by musing kit from multiple vendors.
"It is essential to protect information and communication systems against threats,” said Jochen Homann, President of BNetzA. “The updated security requirements for telecommunications networks and services play an important role in this.”
Such a move had been expected despite pressure from the US to ban Huawei in Germany. The company has been blacklisted in the US on national security grounds and Washington is urging its allies to follow suit. However the US has not produced any evidence to support its claims and Huawei has frequently and emphatically denied any wrongdoing.
There is little support from mobile operators for a ban who fear costs would rise and innovation would decline as a result. Meanwhile Huawei has called for a cross-industry approach to security.
“We welcome the move the German Government has taken to create a level playing field for 5G network vendors,” said a Huawei spokesperson. “Germany has set higher and consistent security standards for all vendors. Advanced declarations and process-based inspections will be adopted, and all vendors are equally and fairly welcome to participate in the construction of 5G networks if they fulfill the security requirements.
“This fact- and standards-based approach is of exemplary significance for addressing global cyber security challenges. Politicizing cyber security will only hinder technology development and social progress while doing nothing to address the security challenges all countries face. Huawei will continue to work openly with regulators, customers, and industry organizations to ensure that mobile networks are secure.”
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.