During a year-end press briefing held yesterday in central Seoul, LG U+ CEO and Vice Chairman Ha Hyun-hwoi has made it clear that the carrier does not think there are any security threats related to its use of Huawei equipment in its 5G infrastructure, rebuffing claims by some lawmakers that there is a risk of security leaks through the use of the Huawei equipment in the network.
LG U+ currently partners with Huawei for its 5G infrastructure. According to Ha, Huawei has already applied for security certification of its 5G network equipment from an international certifying body in Spain, and the public will be able to see how secure the equipment is once the evaluations are complete next year.
“Security concerns apply to every equipment vendor we partner with, not only Huawei, and we need to thoroughly verify all the equipment [we use] is secure,” Ha said. “There are roughly 170 countries that are already using Huawei’s network equipment, and there hasn’t been any security problems reported so far.” He added.
Locally, Huawei has set up equipment that abides by over 70 security guidelines set by the Korea Internet & Security Agency, according to LG U+.
LG U+ has built 5,500 base stations to service the next-generation 5G network as of Wednesday, while its local competitors have reportedly established less than 1,000 5G base stations. The company invested roughly 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion) to set up its 5G infrastructure, including at 5G spectrum auctions.
On a related note, at year-end news conference in Ottawa, Canada prime minister’s Justin Trudeau said: Canada’s decision on whether to allow Huawei access to its next-generation wireless network won’t be a political one”.
“There are millions of dollars, billions of dollars at stake in technology and in communications infrastructure, there is also the extraordinary imperative that Canadians and people around the world expect to be kept safe and free from interference and cyber attacks,” Trudeau said.
“It shouldn’t at all be a political decision made on how we engage, but a decision made by experts and a decision based on recommendations by our intelligence and security agencies,” he added.
Also in a reversal of its earlier stance, India said is unlikely to ban China’s Huawei from selling 5G equipment in the country, despite the US calling for a boycott over espionage concerns. Indian officials now say the telecom gear maker can’t be singled out in matters of security, especially since its rivals also source key components from China.
Many European operators see Huawei as their strategic partner that will play crucial roles in advancing the next generation of wireless technology. Huawei is still gaining foreign carriers’ support on 5G. Many European telecos are proceeding with 5G implementation with Huawei. The UK mobile operator O2 confirmed that it will continue to deploy Huawei 5G gear in the UK. Huawei has also recently partnered with market-leading Telecommunications Operator Altice Portugal committing to the development and implementation of 5G services in Portugal. Vodafone Italia and Huawei also recently announced the completion of a technique to improve the range of high frequency spectrum as part of their pre-standard 5G trials in Milan.
Orange CEO Stéphane Richard was very clear in his feedback about Huawei in face of the current situation. He said : “Huawei has the best technology in the world. They have the strongest capability and methods for R&D in the industry. So the quality of their products is undoubted”.
Some analysts have already suggested that banning Huawei will create a vacuum that no one can fill in a timely fashion, and may seriously impair 5G deployments worldwide as Huawei has recently announced through its rotating chairman Ken Hu that it has secured 25 commercial contracts, ranking number one among all ICT equipment providers, having already shipped more than 10,000 base stations to markets around the world.
Ken rejected allegations about the company network security saying: No evidence has been presented to back the allegations up, and no one can improve by locking out competition.
“Some security concerns based on the technology for 5G were very legitimate, but able to be clarified or mitigated through collaboration with operators and governments”. Ken added.
“Almost all network customers have indicated they want Huawei, which is currently the market leader with the best equipment and will remain so for at least the next 12 to 18 months, for faster and more cost-effective upgrades to 5G”.