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Germany won't ban Huawei from 5G auction

March 8, 2019

Germany does not want to ban Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei from building its 5G networks, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has said. The US has warned Huawei's equipment could be used to spy on other countries.

5G and Huawei Logo
Image: Reuters/D. Ruvic

Speaking on a ZDF television talk show, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the government does not plan to bar Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies from an upcoming 5G auction due to concerns over the global market leader's ties to the Chinese government.

"No, we will not want to exclude any company," Altmaier said. Instead, Germany plans to increase security requirements for all vendors as outlined by a government policy announced earlier Thursday.

The announcement of tough requirements for the upcoming 5G auction come amid US-led debate on whether Huawei harbors spy technology, a claim denied by the China-based concern.

Jochen Homann, the president of Germany's Federal Network Agency, said the new security requirements would apply "to all companies equally," without mentioning Huawei or its Chinese rival ZTE by name.

Read moreHuawei sues US over security ban on firm's products

The agency, along with Germany' Economy and Interior Ministries, said "critical" components could only be sourced from "trustworthy suppliers" certified by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

'Highest security standards'

Both ministries said the "highest security standards" must apply in Germany to ensure its competitiveness as a high-tech location.

The Network Agency said the guidelines — still open to submissions from industry — would require compliance with national security regulations, telecommunication confidentiality and data protection "without doubt."

Network operators would be required to prove they were observing the security guidelines and the BSI would constantly watch data traffic and supply chains to spot potential anomalies, it said.

A network "monoculture," in which one supplier delivered all components, was to be "avoided," and only trained professionals were to be used in security-sensitive areas, it added.


cw, ipj/cmk (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)