Canada is the latest country to ban the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment in the telecommunications sector in general and in 5G networks in particular, as a government announcement this week details its intention to introduce a broad, new telecom security framework.
Canadian telecommunications companies will be officially banned from buying new equipment from Huawei or ZTE from September this year, according to a political statement from the government on Thursday. Canada will also require the removal of all Huawei and ZTE equipment from 5G networks by June 28, 2024, and the removal of 4G / LTE equipment from all of these companies by the end of 2027.
This means that, like the United States, Canada’s move to ban some Chinese network facilities extends to equipment already in use, so telecommunications companies that have purchased such equipment will have to replace it. It is unclear from the announcement whether Canada will follow the example of the United States in providing financial assistance to companies working to free networks from prohibited equipment, although the statement said the government plans to “engage with the industry” to make sure that the logistics take into account the reasons for changing gears.
Ultimately, however, Canada’s focus is on removing potentially dangerous equipment from the country’s most important communications networks.
“The Canadian government has serious concerns about suppliers such as Huawei and ZTE that could be forced to comply with out-of-court instructions from foreign governments in ways that would be contrary to Canadian law or to Canada’s interests,” it said. partly in the statement.
Canada joins the other Five Eyes countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand – in enforcing this type of ban on telecommunications equipment. Concerns about potentially compromised networks first surfaced with equipment made in China about a decade ago. The Intelligence Committee of the US House of Representatives Report for October 2012 warned businesses that Huawei and ZTE’s equipment posed a security threat due to the unclear nature of those companies’ ties to China’s ruling Communist Party, and various measures to restrict or ban their equipment have since come into force.
Huawei and ZTE continue to challenge the West’s characterization of their equipment as dangerous, insisting that fears of a compromise by the Beijing government are unrealistic, and the Chinese government itself rejected Canada’s ban at a news conference on Friday. Wang Wenbin said the evidence of security risks was vague and pretext.
“This move violates the principles of the market economy and free trade rules and seriously harms the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” Wang said.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.