Cyber ​​Security: Government considers Huawei to be disruptive

cyber security
Government considers Huawei to be disruptive

In the USA, the sale and import of communication devices from the Chinese smartphone manufacturer and network supplier Huawei is already prohibited. photo

© Robert Schlesinger/ZB/dpa

With a security check, the security check wants to rule out that China gains influence on German mobile phone networks and exploits this. Berlin is playing it safe with a new requirement.

When it comes to protecting German mobile phone networks, the federal government is taking an increasingly critical view of Chinese suppliers. As can be seen from a letter from the Ministry of the Interior to the network operators, the Ministry believes that components from the Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE may affect public order and security in Germany. Therefore, all critical – i.e. safety-relevant – parts that are already installed in the network should be subjected to an inspection. There is already an inspection of components. So far, however, it only applies to all critical parts that are newly installed. There were no concerns about this, the letter said.

The new specification is an extension of the scope of testing. The ministry is asking for a list of said components by early April. After that, a review should take several months. The letter is available to the dpa.

Huawei components in the German antenna network

With the security check, the federal government wants to rule out that China gains influence on German mobile phone networks and exploits this. With the changed procedure, the Federal Ministry of the Interior apparently wants to play it safe. It is about the so-called antenna network, in which the three German cell phone network operators Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and O2 have installed Huawei components, among other things. The “core network”, on the other hand, no longer contains Huawei.

The three companies expressed reservations. One participates “not in political speculations”, said a Telekom spokesman. “We use so-called critical components after our own examination as well as examination and approval or non-prohibition by the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and subordinate authorities.” A Vodafone spokesman made a similar statement and emphasized that they “always adhere to the relevant standards and laws”.

That’s what cell phone operators say

Telefónica (O2) also commented accordingly. A company spokesman pointed out that sufficient time would be needed if a component were to be excluded. “This is essential to maintaining network quality and performance.” For a retrospectively necessary conversion of the network, “additional corresponding compensation regulations would be necessary”.

Several media had reported on the more restrictive course of the federal government. The United States has long warned Germany against Huawei’s participation in the mobile network. Several countries, including the United States and Canada, have already excluded Huawei and ZTE network technology from their markets. The US claims that China can use 5G technology to spy on Huawei, for example. Huawei always rejected the allegations.


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