The German government said that excluding the Chinese vendor would represent a challenge for local operators participating in a 5G auction
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has reiterated that the government is not planning to exclude Chinese vendor Huawei from 5G contracts in the country, international press reported.
“There are two things I don’t believe in,” Merkel said during a speech at the Global Solutions summit in Berlin. “First, to discuss these very sensitive security questions publicly, and second, to exclude a company simply because it’s from a certain country.”
The U.S. government had recently warned it could limit the sharing of intelligence information with Germany if it does not exclude Huawei from its 5G infrastructure, arguing that Chinese equipment could help Chinese authorities spy on Western companies and governments.
European carriers, however, have warned governments that excluding Chinese vendors would delay the deployment of 5G infrastructure by years.
“So far, lots of countries have used Huawei technology,” Merkel added. “That’s why the federal government has not taken the approach of simply ruling out any contractor or stakeholder, but we have set standards for those bidding for 5G technology.”
The country’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) recently published the key elements of its additional security requirements for telecommunications networks and services.
The new requirements stipulate that systems may only be sourced from trustworthy suppliers whose compliance with national security regulations and provisions for the secrecy of telecommunications and for data protection is assured.
New requirements set by the German government also say that network traffic must be regularly and constantly monitored for any abnormality and, if there is any cause for concern, appropriate protection measures must be taken.
Merkel had recently said that the country expects to define its own security strategy for the deployment of 5G infrastructure. Merkel said that the German government was focused on providing guarantees for the security of digital networks, including the 5G mobile infrastructure.
Jochen Homann, chairman of the BNetzA said excluding Huawei from 5G contracts would present significant problems for the winners of an ongoing 5G spectrum auction launched by the agency on March 19. Germany’s three mobile operators – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland as well as MVNO 1&1 Drillisch are currently competing for a total of 41 blocks of spectrum in the 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands.
“Huawei is an important supplier, already present in our previous networks – it will be difficult to do without such companies and this is not at all what we want,” Homann told German public broadcaster ARD.
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