Will they stay or will they go? Reports suggest Huawei can stay, despite security risks
Amid concerns about security, Poland is mulling raising standards for telecom equipment used in its future 5G network – but, according to the latest reports, is unlikely to ban Chinese company Huawei completely.
Huawei is the world’s largest maker of mobile network infrastructure equipment, but officials in the United States and beyond are worried about its ties with the Chinese government, suggesting that its 5G equipment could be used to spy on other countries.
Amid these concerns, the European Commission is planning a coordinated EU approach towards 5G.
The company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, has denied that it poses a spying risk. "I personally would never harm the interest of my customers and me and my company would not answer to such requests,” he told the foreign media in January.
In Poland, Huawei has been in the spotlight since a Chinese employee from the company and a former Polish security official were arrested in January for alleged spying.
Visiting Warsaw in February, US Vice President Mike Pence praised Poland for its reaction.
“The recent action your government has taken against a Huawei executive and a Polish national accused of cooperating with him demonstrate your government’s commitment to ensure our telecommunications sector is not compromised in a way that threatens our national security,” he said.
Now Reuters reports that Poland is unlikely to exclude all Huawei equipment from its new 5G mobile network, citing costs.
The country could, however, introduce restrictions and higher security standards, according to Deputy Minister of Digitisation Karol Okonski, who is responsible for cyber security.
“When it comes to new investments, we are quite determined to set clear government expectations when it comes to the security of used equipment,” Okonski told Reuters.
The country’s main mobile operators, including Play, T-Mobile Polska and Orange, already use Huawei equipment.
Reuters reports that Play fears banning Huawei would push up prices and slow down efforts to introduce new technologies.