Mobile Network Industry: Europe Needs Security Scrutiny Amid Huawei Spying Claims

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According to the mobile network industry, Europe needs a security testing programme to oversee the rollout of 5G in order to combat the distrust of providers.

The GSMA, the industry body which represents 800 operators, has urged governments and the private sector to cooperate on setting up such a scheme.

The industry would need to agree on what the assurance testing and certification regime would involve, in order to guarantee confidence in the security of the network operators.

Currently, Huawei, the Chinese provider, is under intensifying pressure from various countries amid the spying claims that it denies.

Canada is currently reviewing Huawei as a supplier after New Zealand, Australia, and the United States of America all banned the provider from supplying the 5G infrastructure.

Recently, Huawei took out adverts in New Zealand papers to liken blocking it from 5G to banning the All Blacks from rugby.

As well as urging for improved security testing, the GSMA also released a warning that ruling out suppliers will be slowing down the rollout of the new data technology.

It stated: “Actions that disrupt the equipment supply for the various segments of the network (access, transport and core) will increase costs to European operators, businesses and citizens; delay 5G deployment by years across Europe and potentially also jeopardise the functioning of existing 4G networks upon which 5G is intended to be built.”

A GCHQ-backed UK committee that is established to scrutinise Huawei had discovered a number of shortcomings in the security of the provider, which Huawei has said will take up to five years to address.