Sci-tech

New Zealand becomes latest country to bar Huawei technology from 5G network

New Zealand becomes latest country to bar Huawei technology from 5G network”

Mr Little refused to outline the security threat Spark's plan posed, saying only that "there is a risk with the use of that technology", but details were classified.

New Zealand's intelligence agency has rejected the telecom industry's first request in the country to use 5G equipment provided by China's Huawei.

Telco Spark on Wednesday said it had been notified by the Government Communications Security Bureau that using Huawei RAN equipment in its introduction of 5G would raise a national security risk.

The new stance is revealed after Spark, a major telecom operator in the country, was not able to use Huawei's 5G equipment. "We deserve the opportunity to have our voice heard and to address any concerns in good faith", Mr Bowater said.

"It's not about the country, it's not even particularly about the company; it is about the technology that is proposed".

Huawei has repeatedly insisted Beijing has no influence over it.

"I can say with considerable confidence that there's been no representations made to the GCSB from Australia, from the United States, from anywhere, about how it should go about making its decision". "Following our review, Spark will consider what further steps, if any, it will take".

The Minister responsible for the GCSB Andrew Little told RNZ on Thursday that the government is concerned with the equipment.

Government Communications Security Bureau director Andrew Hampton's next task may be to brief Spark on the reasoning behind its Huawei 5G block

On Sunday TVNZ1 Q+A host Corin Dann questioned GCSB Minister Andrew Little about the decision New Zealand would have to make, after the Wall Street Journal reported the USA urged Five Eyes countries to avoid using Huawei. They also added that Huawei is a private company and nothing is controlled by China government.

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

GCSB Director-General Andrew Hampton said the decision was made under the Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Act (TICSA). "With 5G technology, every component of the 5G network means every part of the network can be accessed".

Mr Little and intelligence officials have said that 5G networks have different security concerns to previous generations of mobile networks because it was hard to restrict vendors considered high risk to less sensitive parts of the network.

"The importance of multiple vendors to deliver price competitiveness still stands, so if this announcement has a similar impact on 2degrees it will be a real disappointment for competition", 2degrees corporate affairs chief Mathew Bolland told Reuters.

Vodafone New Zealand Ltd declined to comment on the matter.

"We know that telecommunications networks, like other infrastructure, are now points of vulnerability worldwide for incursion, cyber attacks and what have you", he said.



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