The GSMA is asking for an urgent meeting to discuss the Huawei situation. The topic of discussion is banning Huawei 5G equipment in European Union because – allegedly – the devices built under the “guidance” of experts infiltrated within the Chinese Government might contain vulnerabilities that are capable of compromising the safety of the mobile communication infrastructure.
Following similar talks in the United States, the European Commission is analyzing whether to ban 5G equipment build by Huawei in Europe.
At this time, Huawei – who is the largest telecommunication equipment manfuacturer in the world – is under investigation by the United States and other Governments of the world because, apparently, the devices delivered by Huawei might contain backdoors that makes it easier for the Chinese government to spy.
These fears are not without merit because, in the past, Huawei has also attracted attention for including unwanted software in smartphones sold on international markets.
The first debate on this issue might take place in Barcelona, at the end of February, during the Mobile World Congress 2019.
Considering the cheap price of Huawei’s 5G equipment, banning these devices might upset the plans of some big companies who are thinking about releasing smartphones at competitive prices and it might also increase the price of the 5G infrastructure quite a lot, this affecting the European Union’s ability to stay competitive on the global telecommunications market. Also, telecommunications companies that purchased Huawei 5G equipment might have to stop using them and this comes at a considerable cost.
The GSMA represents the interests of more than 750 mobile operators and 350 mobile companies. In November of last year, the U.S. authorities sent a warning regarding using Huawei equipment.
Some of the mobile operators who already reacted to warnings from the U.S. Government is Orange France, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, BT, and the Norwegian Government. Japan is also considering whether to ban 5G equipment provided by Huawei.
As everybody expected, Huawei has denied all accusations regarding the fact that their equipment might be compromised with the purpose of being used for espionage. Considering the complexity of the equipment created and delivered by Huawei, confirming or denying the accusations might take many months and this is enough time for Huawei’s reputation to be tarnished.
One thing we do know for sure is that the Chinese Government legally compels companies and persons who work in China to support espionage activities in favor of the Chinese government.