The German government came under pressure to prohibit China-based companies including Huawei from participating in 5G network deployments due to security concerns, Reuters reported.
Officials in the German foreign and interior ministries have held talks with their US and Australian counterparts, after the latter countries took steps to push Huawei out of their markets. One German official said there are serious concerns in the country over the security of the vendor’s kit, adding: “If it were up to me we would do what the Australians are doing”, the news agency stated.
US and Australian authorities acted due to ongoing concerns over alleged links between Huawei and the Chinese government. UK security chiefs also reportedly expressed concerns about the country’s choice of equipment suppliers for 5G kit, however counterparts in Canada said they will stand by Huawei despite the US action.
Katharina Droege, a lawmaker from the German Greens party, told Reuters: “We need to be able to vet individual cases in order to ensure our critical infrastructure is protected. That could lead to the exclusion of Chinese firms from building our 5G infrastructure.”
The party submitted a motion in parliament questioning the government’s current position that there is no legal basis to prohibit certain suppliers. Reuters added other officials are pressing for more serious discussions around the security aspects of 5G, rather than just coverage, as the country prepares to auction 5G frequencies in early 2019.
Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom was quizzed about the role of Huawei in its network buildout. At the time, CEO Timotheus Hoettges said it is “observing developments globally”, noting the operator has a dual supplier strategy, business continuity plans in all markets and also coordinates with security agencies when needed.