BREAKING: Feds ban Huawei from 5G networks
News | 05/19/2022 5:12 pm EDT
The federal government Thursday announced that it would be banning equipment from “high risk vendors”, including Chinese telecom companies Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. from the country’s 5G telecommunications systems.
In addition, the government will also introduce legislation aimed at beefing up cybersecurity across the nation’s communications infrastructure and key industries.
“Cybersecurity is national security,” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters Thursday afternoon in a press conference. The development of 5G wireless networks represents an opportunity for competition and growth, Mendocino said, adding that “with this opportunity also comes risks.”
The review of Huawei’s presence on Canadian networks has been ongoing for some three years.
“This has never been a race, this is about making the right decision,” Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne said in response to a question about the delay in making the decision.
Most of the biggest telecom companies in the country – including BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., and Telus Corp. – have already sought to use other vendors like Nokia Corp. and Ericsson AB for their 5G rollouts. The last holdout on using Huawei was Telus, which ultimately decided in Nov. 2020 that it would use other vendors.
The order will also require telecom companies to rip out any existing Huawei and ZTE equipment from their 4G LTE networks, and Champagne said the government would not be compensating any telecom companies for their trouble.
The move aligns Canada with other countries in the so-called “five eyes” intelligence sharing partnership countries, which have made similar moves to ban Huawei’s gear from their networks.
More to come.