Sweden has banned telecommunications equipment from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from building the new fifth generation, or 5G, networks citing national security concerns.
Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS)
With the 5G spectrum auction in Sweden arriving next month, the PTS, Sweden’s main governing body decided to ban them. This is in line with a new legislation that entered into force in January 2020, following an examination by the Swedish armed forces and security service “to ensure that the use of radio equipment in these bands does not cause harm to Sweden’s security,” the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority said in a statement.The agency said the conditions were based on assessments by the Swedish military and security service. Huawei said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the rules.
More EU countries are kicking out Chinese equipment manufacturers
Several other European countries are gradually closing the door on Huawei or are considering doing so after pressure from the United States, who consider the company as being part of China’s surveillance state.
In France, Huawei will not be subject to a total ban on the 5G market, but operators already using the firm’s equipment will have operating authorisations limited to eight years.
European Commission officials have stated that rivals to Huawei, such as Sweden’s Ericsson or Finland’s Nokia can provide the EU with the necessary 5G infrastructure. The ban means more opportunities for Ericsson and Nokia.
The 5G networks, which are expected to usher in a wave of innovation such as smart factories and remote surgery, are considered critical infrastructure.
Klas Friberg, the head of Sweden’s domestic security service, known as SAPO, said Tuesday that “foreign powers have intensified their intelligence activity in recent years so 5G networks should be built in a secure way from the start.”
He also added…
“China is one of the biggest threats to Sweden.The Chinese state is conducting cyber espionage to promote its own economic development and develop its military capabilities. This is done through extensive intelligence gathering and theft of technology, research and development. This is what we must consider when building the 5G network of the future.”
Huawei hit back against them, and denied it was a security risk
“Huawei has never caused even the slightest shred of threat to Swedish cyber security and never will,” it said. “Excluding Huawei will not make Swedish 5G networks any more secure. Rather, competition and innovation will be severely hindered.
PTS finally stated that Huawei and ZTE have to remove all their equipment currently present in the country by 1st January 2025.