Wednesday, 28 November 2018 18:23

New Zealand bans Huawei from role in 5G rollout Featured

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New Zealand bans Huawei from role in 5G rollout Pixabay

New Zealand has banned Chinese telecommunications manufacturer Huawei Telecommunications from playing any role in the country's 5G network, hardly a week after the company and local telco Spark demonstrated the technical implementation of access and core separation for 5G.

Andrew Hampton, the director-general of New Zealand's General Communications Security Bureau, said in a statement that Spark had notified it of plans to use Huawei equipment in its 5G rollout and the agency had declined it permission to do so.

GCSB is the country's main spy agency and regulates network security under the Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Act.

Spark said in a statement that it had notified Hampton of its proposed approach to implement 5G technology, using Huawei equipment in in its planned 5G radio access network.

The telco said Hampton had said that Spark's proposal would raise significant national security risks. No details were provided as to the nature of the risk.

Spark said it had not had an opportunity to review the reasoning behind Hampton's decision and would consider any further steps after a review.

"While we are disappointed with this decision, we are confident that the decision will not affect our plans to launch Spark’s 5G network by 1 July 2020, subject to the necessary spectrum being made available by the New Zealand Government," Spark said.

Australia banned Huawei and fellow Chinese vendor ZTE from any role in its 5G networks back in August.

In recent days, there have been reports that the US is stepping up its campaign to get Huawei banned from use in countries that it counts as allies.

Contacted for comment, a Huawei spokesperson said: "Huawei is aware of Spark's statement, and we are looking into the situation. As the GCSB has noted, this is an ongoing process. We will actively address any concerns and work together to find a way forward.

"As a leading global supplier of telecoms equipment, we remain committed to developing trusted and secure solutions for our customers.

"Huawei's 5G equipment is already being deployed by major carriers around the world, with whom we have signed more than 20 commercial 5G contracts. This, alone, is a testament to our position as a leading global supplier of 5G technology.

"Moving forward, we will continue to provide our customers with innovative and secure 5G solutions."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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