Under U.S. Pressure, Europe Agrees on Security Risks of 5G Equipment
The Council of the European Union last week adopted conclusions on the significance of 5G to the European economy and the need to mitigate security risks linked to 5G.
The conclusions stress that 5G networks "will form a part of crucial infrastructure for the maintenance of vital societal and economic functions."
The conclusions also support the findings in the European 5G Risk Assessment published in October by the European Member states coordination group on network and information security.
"The approach to 5G network security is to be comprehensive and risk-based. 5G security is seen as a continuous process, which starts with the selection of the vendors and lasts the whole way through the production of the network elements and the lifetime of the operation of the networks," the Council of the European Union concluded.
"Non-technical factors should also be considered when a supplier's risk profile is drawn up and components critical for national security should be sourced from trustworthy parties only," the Council said.
Last week, U.S. officials visited Europe in order to persuade their allies to cut back in using Huawei Technologies Co. equipment.
Europe has been caught between China and the U.S. over the question of whether to include Huawei in the roll-out of its future 5G mobile networks.
Many European countries don’t want to anger Beijing, a significant trading partner, while the U.S., an important security ally, has repeatedly said it may reassess intelligence sharing with countries that utilize Huawei in their 5G networks.
Germany's largest phone carrier, Deutsche Telekom AG, announced it had stopped orders for 5G equipment due to Huawei’s "uncertain status." The announcement followed a discussion between U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel following a NATO summit. Merkel has previously insisted that individual vendors such as Huawei should not be banned from the outset.
No other major European telecommunications company has announced a full Huawei ban, although Vodafone Group Plc in January suspended purchases of Huawei gear for the core of its European networks.