EU weighs banning Huawei from all 5G networks

The restrictions are caused by security concerns that include Huawei conducting cyber-espionage

Photo: EPA

The European Union is reportedly considering to ban Huawei from participating in the trading bloc’s next-generation mobile networks in a move that might both worsen company's troubles in a vital market and prevent Europe from remaining competitive with other regions when it comes to 5G networks. 

According to Reuters' sources, talks are still at the early stages and it’s not clear how feasible such a policy would be across the EU’s Member States, but its the European Commission that is reportedly mulling over the ban out of fears of security backdoors that could be exploited by China. Thus, one option under consideration is to change a 2016 Cybersecurity Law requiring businesses working on critical infrastructure to take tighter security measures. If the definition of “critical” infrastructure is widened to include 5G networks, then any non-European company, not just Huawei, would be excluded from operating in the space. 

News comes amid wide-spread rumors that the trade body for global mobile communications companies - the Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA) also considers the prospect of Huawei’s technology being excluded from key markets as the beleaguered communications giant faces regulatory scrutiny across the world. 

As Europost reminds, such a ban comes as no surprise since the US, Australia and New Zealand already barred China’s Huawei on national-security grounds from supplying equipment for next-generation mobile networks, such as 5G. To have a de-facto ban on the equipment in the European Union, however, could have more far-reaching ramifications. And they might hurt Europe's telecommunication infrastructure and markets far more than Huawei's financial state. In particular, the ban could prevent Europe from remaining competitive with other regions, seeing how 5G also has implications for connected factories, self-driving vehicles, and more. Overall, the ban could set mobile operators back several years.

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