Limited Implementation of Huawei, ZTE Ban Across EU

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The European Commission’s data reveals that only ten EU member states have thus far implemented restrictions on telecom suppliers considered high risk, such as Huawei and ZTE, in their 5G network infrastructure. Despite widespread acknowledgment of the need to regulate Chinese providers, most countries have yet to take concrete steps to exclude them.

Sparse Adoption Despite Regulatory Framework

While nearly all EU nations have established regulatory frameworks to address concerns surrounding Chinese telecom suppliers, only a small fraction, including Sweden and Latvia, have actively enforced bans or restrictions. The lack of significant progress since the previous update underscores the slow pace of action, with major players like Germany opting for gradual measures rather than immediate bans.

Global Backlash Fuels Scrutiny

The decision to exclude Huawei and ZTE from public tenders and telecom networks gained momentum globally in 2018, driven by accusations of espionage and apprehensions about ties to the Chinese government. Despite Huawei’s denial of any governmental affiliations and its claims of being an employee-owned private entity, suspicions linger, prompting calls for stringent security measures.

EU Initiatives and Concerns

In response to cybersecurity risks associated with 5G infrastructure, the European Commission introduced a toolbox in 2020, empowering member states to diversify suppliers and mitigate risks by excluding high-risk vendors like Huawei and ZTE. The Commission urged swift implementation of these measures, emphasizing the importance of telecommunications security for the EU’s internal market and socio-economic well-being.

Challenges Ahead in 5G Rollout

Despite efforts to bolster 5G security, the EU faces challenges in meeting its targets for full 5G and gigabit coverage by the end of the decade. Telecom industry representatives highlight the need for significant investment to achieve these goals, with the Commission expected to address infrastructure funding issues in an upcoming Digital Networks Act white paper. However, the extent to which this plan will mandate 5G security measures remains uncertain.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Euractiv

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