Admin l Tuesday, March 07, 2023
BERLIN – The German government has instructed mobile network operators to reassess previously installed Chinese-made components in 5G networks, media reports said on Tuesday, citing an Interior Ministry letter to the operators.
The letter indicates that the ministry regards components made by China’s Huawei and ZTE as potentially impairing public order and security and represents a tightening of official policy which previously targeted only components for future installation.
All critical – and thus security-related – components already installed must be tested. This testing obligation applied previously only to new components. The components include antenna modules and control elements, but have not been fully specified.
The sector does not see antennas as a security issue, as they only transmit data and impairment of individual antennas would not be critical for the network.
While servers in the network core are critical, they do not play a role in the ongoing Huawei debate, as Vodafone for example does not install Huawei components and Deutsche Telekom decided to remove equipment made by Chinese suppliers from its network core in 2019.
The United States has long warned Germany against using Huawei technology in its network, and several countries have excluded it and ZTE from their systems.
The US takes the view that the Chinese government could use the 5G technology made by the companies to conduct espionage. Huawei has consistently rejected this.