MWC 2011: NSN Chases 'Spy' off Stand

Nokia Siemens Networks says the security at its Barcelona 'village' in Hall 8 was breached by an industrial spy disguised as a cleaner

February 16, 2011

2 Min Read
MWC 2011: NSN Chases 'Spy' off Stand

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2011 -- Industrial espionage in the telecom equipment sector appears to be alive and kicking if an incident reported by Nokia Networks is anything to go by.

The vendor's representatives say the security at its "experience center" (a large, closed "village" area in Hall 8 at the Mobile World Congress show) was breached at around 4 p.m. Monday when a Chinese male, disguised as a cleaner, got through its tight security checks by tagging along behind three genuine cleaners who were visiting the center to perform their daily tasks.

The unwelcome guest was spotted peeling away from the cleaning group and checking out the technology presentations. When challenged, the interloper fled the area and couldn't be caught.

NSN staff say they have no proof that he was a spy from another telecom systems vendor, but are convinced that this was a bungled spying incident, and believe a genuine cleaner was bribed to hand over his uniform.

A NSN spokesman says the vendor's security team, which is on guard 24 hours a day, has thwarted two other attempts by unwelcome visitors to gain access to its exhibition space. In one incident, two Asian males with cameras arrived at NSN's center in the late evening (once the show is closed) saying they had been given permission to visit the stand "while it was quiet." They were turned away.

NSN's head of stand security told Light Reading that he couldn't understand why people were trying to gain access without permission. "It's not like we are showing off any prototypes ... it's just madness. I don't know what they think they will see."

Industrial espionage of this kind isn't new, of course. (See Huawei in Spying Flap and The Trouble With Huawei....)

Get all the news that matters from Barcelona at our special Mobile World Congress Show Site.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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