New Zealand bans Huawei

New Zealand bans Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears

GCSB shuts down Spark's proposed 5G partnership with Huawei over 'significant network security risk'

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States government is trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in allied countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from China's Huawei Technologies.

Huawei has been involved in other telecommunications systems in New Zealand such as its 4G mobile network, and is investing NZ$400 million (£213 million) into research and development.

Spark will not be making any further comment on this matter.

However, Spark said it remains confident the decision will not affect its plans to launch 5G network by July 1, 2020.

After Huawei was prohibited from rolling out 5G infrastructure in Australia the company denied it posed a risk to national security and said it had "securely delivered wireless technology in Australia for close to 15 years". The companies compete for customers over their own network of cell towers, using radio spectrum that is licensed from the government.

Spark has not yet had an opportunity to review the detailed reasoning behind the Director-General's decision.

But it's not the end of the road for Huawei, which could still play a part in Spark's network should the company choose to work with the GCSB to mitigate its concerns.

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But speeds demanded by 5G mean that more computing is done on the edges of the network, meaning Huawei technology would be used on parts of the network that could represent a national security risk if hacked.

"As per Spark New Zealand's statement today, I can confirm the GCSB under its TICSA responsibilities, has recently undertaken an assessment of a notification from Spark", added Hampton. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), Huawei's smaller Chinese rival, is similarly barred from New Zealand's 5G market.

Australia also banned Huawei equipment from its planned 5G networks earlier this year.

Huawei technology has been central to 2degrees' network since the telco launched a decade ago.

The Chinese government expressed "grave concerns" about the decision, with Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang saying in Beijing on Wednesday that he hoped "New Zealand will do more to benefit mutual cooperation". Resulting price increases would ultimately be passed on to the consumer.

Spark chief executive Simon Moutter had strongly defended Huawei as a safe technology partner with cheaper pricing than competitors after the Australian ban on the Chinese vendor.

Little said he was being briefed on the security issues raised.

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