EU Commissioner Thierry Breton has urged member states to speed up the replacement of high risk vendors, primarily Chinese companies like Huawei, in their 5G networks. Speaking at an event organized by French telecom group Orange, Breton highlighted the importance of replacing such vendors and following the requirements of the 5G Toolbox, a framework developed by the EU in early 2020.
Breton stated that some countries have already complied with the requirements, while others are falling behind. According to the Financial Times, anonymous officials have revealed that the EU is considering a mandatory ban on high-risk vendors in member state 5G networks. The message seems clear – if members do not voluntarily comply, the EU is ready to enforce the ban.
Industry analyst John Strand commented on these developments, saying that the European Commission wants the operators and member states to solve the problem themselves. Otherwise, the EU will have to ensure a secure digital infrastructure. Strand also praised the EU’s 5G Toolbox approach, which he believes has been crafted diplomatically and is not prejudiced against any country or vendor.
However, the situation puts several EU member countries in a difficult position. For example, Germany extensively uses Huawei equipment in its 5G networks, and replacing it would cost billions. It is likely that a confrontation between Germany and the European Commission on this matter is impending.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager also recently commended Portugal’s cybersecurity council for its decision to implement the EU’s 5G security toolbox. Her tweet stated that threats will not deter Europe from taking legitimate measures to protect its critical infrastructure.
Ultimately, replacing high-risk vendors in EU 5G networks is essential for ensuring a secure digital infrastructure. It’s crucial that member states work together and make necessary changes to comply with the evolving requirements of the 5G Toolbox.