Germany looks set to allow Huawei into its 5G networks despite attempts by the United States to make the country change course. Members of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party signed off on a document yesterday that seeks a compromise approach between banning Huawei and giving it free rein. Overall, they do not seem too dissimilar to plans adopted by the United Kingdom two weeks ago.
The paper points out that state actors that want to infiltrate a network can do it through any equipment maker, not just Huawei. It said these risks can’t be entirely eliminated but can be minimised with “comprehensive technical checks”. It goes on to say that encryption can be used to make transmitted data secure.
Similarly to Britain, Germany’s three network operators are all using Huawei technology in and an outright ban could be costly for them and delay the rollout of 5G to customers in all parts of the country. The paper takes care to make a distinction between the access, transport and core network so that operators can pick the most trustworthy companies to provide technology in the sensitive areas of the network. Like the UK, Germany wants to ensure networks aren’t using hardware from just one company.
For hardware from certain firms to be included in sensitive areas of the network, companies will have to fulfill certain requirements that rule out any influence from a foreign state on the 5G infrastructure. With regards to the already existing 4G network, operators will have until 2025 to replace hardware in sensitive areas of the network if the hardware manufacturer does not pass the security test.