What you need to know
- The EU will not be banning Huawei equipment from 5G networks.
- The bloc will be following the UK's footsteps in opting for a threat mitigation stance.
- While US officials are displeased by the decision, Huawei is pleased by the "non-biased and fact-based approach."
The EU will follow the UK in allowing Huawei hardware in its 5G networks in a limited capacity as it issues a new toolbox for security risks related to 5G. The bloc allows member states to set their own rules on adoption and choose their own suppliers but urges them to avoid dependency on "single" sources and especially "high-risk" suppliers. While Huawei isn't specifically named, it's clearly the subject of the discussion.
Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, said in a statement:
A genuine Security Union is one which protects Europe's citizens, companies and critical infrastructure. 5G will be a ground-breaking technology but it cannot come at the expense of the security of our internal market. The toolbox is an important step in what must be a continuous effort in the EU's collective work to better protect our critical infrastructures."
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, also added:
"Europe has everything it takes to lead the technology race. Be it developing or deploying 5G technology – our industry is already well off the starting blocks. Today we are equipping EU Member States, telecoms operators and users with the tools to build and protect a European infrastructure with the highest security standards so we all fully benefit from the potential that 5G has to offer.
In response to this move, Huawei issued the following statement (via Reuters.)
This non-biased and fact-based approach towards 5G security allows Europe to have a more secure and faster 5G network.
U.S. officials were displeased, reportedly calling the decision "disappointing". The country had banned Huawei from its networks, and had urged allied states to follow in its footsteps.