Poland may impose stricter security demands for 5G network

Poland may impose stricter security demands for core elements of its 5G network than for other areas of the system, Reuters reported.
Verizon 5G networkPoland, like other nations, has been working on regulations to guarantee the security of 5G network in the wake of an international row over whether equipment made by major Chinese supplier Huawei poses a security threat.

The United States, a member of NATO like Poland, has said Huawei’s gear could be used for spying by China’s government. Huawei denies this and says its equipment does not pose a security risk.

“Security of end devices is something different than security of the core of the network,” Digital Minister Marek Zagorski told Reuters, adding that different parts of the system could have different security requirements.

“The further from this strategic element, which is the core of the network, the less restrictive these requirements may be,” he added.

Several international telecom operators continue to work with Huawei despite U.S. pressure, saying banning the firm’s gear could delay 5G rollout and raise costs. But some operators have been curbing use of Huawei technology.

Zagorski said Poland had sent the European Commission its proposals regarding how to mitigate risks.

He said Poland’s aim was to guarantee transmission security. It is about a diversification of equipment suppliers, roaming between operators. These are basic requirements.

Zagorski said a draft bill on the security issue will be presented to parliament at the start of 2020 and work on the bill will be completed by the end of February.

Three of Poland’s biggest private telecom firms have agreed to consider developing 5G networks with two state entities.

Poland’s state-owned telecom operator Exatel had earlier advocated forming a consortium of private but also state companies to develop 5G network infrastructure for the 700 MHz band to ensure lower costs and better protection from security threats.

State-owned fund PFR and Exatel alongwith Orange Polska, T-Mobile Polska and Polkomtel- a unit of Cyfrowy Polsat – signed an agreement to start establishing a company to build 5G infrastructure.

Orange Polska is the Polish arm of France’s Orange and T-Mobile Polska is the Polish unit of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom.

Poland’s biggest mobile operator Play Communications did not sign the memorandum of understanding.

Meanwhile, some fears surrounding Huawei Technologies are unfounded, the chief executive of France’s leading telecoms operator Orange said on Wednesday, as the concerns threaten to delay the roll-out of 5G.

The United States has said that gear provided by Huawei, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker, contains ‘back doors’ that would enable China to spy on other countries, and has been pressing allies to block Huawei’s technology being used for fifth generation mobile networks, or 5G.

“This myth that (amounts to saying): I’ve got a China-made antenna, so it must have a microphone that allows all my conservations to be listened to by the Chinese communist party is complete nonsense,” Orange’s boss Stéphane Richard said as he was testifying in front of French lawmakers.