New Zealand bans Huawei 5G equipment due to 'national security' fears

National security risks’ New Zealand blocks use of Huawei equipment for 5G network

Reuters

His comments followed Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang saying the Chinese government hopes New Zealand "provides a fair competition environment for Chinese companies operating in New Zealand, and does more to benefit bilateral mutual trust and cooperation".

Huawei has been developing New Zealand communication networks since the implementation of 4G, investing NZD400 million, or over $270 million.

Australia banned Huawei and another Chinese firm, ZTE, from participating in its 5G network in August.

Huawei is a provider of network equipment to all of Europe's major mobile network providers, including companies such as Vodafone and BT in the UK.

If Spark did attempt to address the GCSB's concerns, the GCSB would then have to decide whether to refer the matter to the Minister responsible for GCSB, Andrew Little.

Spark is one of three main mobile network operators in New Zealand.

He had no issue with Huawei gear that's already in Spark and other telco's networks or, potentially, Huawei different technology being used in future upgrades; Spark could still work with Huawei to address the security risk with 5G, the GCSB Minister said.

The processes of challenging the GCSB decision, Brislen said, is slow, and Spark probably doesn't have the time.

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Spark said it had wanted to use Huawei 5G equipment in its planned Radio Access Network, which involves technology associated with cell tower infrastructure.

"While we are disappointed with this decision, we are confident that the decision will not affect our plans to launch Spark's 5G network by 1 July 2020, subject to the necessary spectrum being made available by the New Zealand Government", Spark said in a statement.

"So in this day and age, we've got to make sure everything is done to protect our country from those risks".

Huawei's Bowater said he denied there was any evidence of wrongdoing by Huawei.

As part of an "extraordinary outreach campaign", U.S. officials have reportedly reached out to European and Asian countries where Huawei equipment is already in use, warning them about the "national security risks" posed by the Chinese firm.

But the GCSB's assessment that Huawei's 5G technology poses "significant national security risks" is "not a ban", Andrew Little told the Herald this morning. Recently, in the latest development over the U.S. sanctions, New Zealand has also restricted the use of Huawei's technology for next-generation mobile data network in the country.

"Huawei is aware of Spark's statement, and we are looking into the situation", a Huawei spokesperson said.

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