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No Vendor Bans in EU's 5G GuidelinesNo Vendor Bans in EU's 5G Guidelines

In the face of growing pressure from the US government to ban Huawei, new guidelines allow each EU member state to make its own decisions on which equipment vendors can be part of the 5G supply chain.

Anne Morris

January 30, 2020

2 Min Read
No Vendor Bans in EU's 5G Guidelines

The European Commission stopped short of banning vendors such as Huawei from participating in Europe's 5G networks, instead approving a new set of guidelines to support what it hopes will be a secure and coordinated deployment of 5G throughout the European Union.

The new EU toolbox for 5G is the fruit of efforts to create a common European approach to 5G network security. Notably, member states have agreed to assess the risk profiles of suppliers and "apply relevant restrictions for suppliers considered to be high risk" -- a clear reference to the global furore over Huawei.

Importantly, each EU country will ultimately get to decide for itself whether or not a particular vendor is deemed to be a security threat.

However, recent events clearly illustrate that such decisions are very difficult to make. The UK -- set to exit the EU on Friday -- provoked a transatlantic storm following its announcement that Huawei could play a restricted role in the UK's 5G rollout.

Germany also continues to dither over the issue, though objective viewpoints will be tested following a report from German broadsheet Handelsblatt claiming the US furnished German politicians with "smoking gun" proof that Huawei has been working with China's security agencies.

An end to the international dispute does not yet appear to be in sight. For now, EU member states are requested to implement the measures recommended in the toolbox by April 30, 2020 and to prepare a joint report on the implementation by June 30.

For more on this topic, see:

— Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Anne Morris

Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist, editor and translator. She has been working in the telecommunications sector since 1996, when she joined the London-based team of Communications Week International as copy editor. Over the years she held the editor position at Total Telecom Online and Total Tele-com Magazine, eventually leaving to go freelance in 2010. Now living in France, she writes for a number of titles and also provides research work for analyst companies.

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