Huawei’s chief security officer John Suffolk talks about security opportunities in telecom

Telecom Lead India: Huawei’s Global Chief Security Officer John Suffolk said America lost a big opportunity to raise the bar for improving security standards when the U.S. Intelligence Committee submitted its report after probing Huawei and ZTE.

Several media pointed out that there was no solid evidence in their probe report against the Chinese telecom equipment maker.

Huawei’s Global Chief Security Officer John Suffolk was the first global telecom publication to highlight the evidence issue. Read here:

Will the US Intelligence Committee show enough evidence to support their claims on security threats posed by Huawei and ZTE?

Was the probe an outcome of protectionism, bilateral trade issues, etc? The industry does not have a proper answer. Telecom professionals like to believe the U.S.

The recent report by the U.S. Intelligence Committee is opening up better opportunities for telecom vendors. “It is creating new opportunities as there is a strong debate,” he added.

Suffolk’s point is very clear. Around 30 percent of components in telecom equipments are chips or other components – not manufactured by Huawei. Only less than 70 percent is directly contributed by Huawei when it supplies a network to a telecom operator. The rest can come from a chip maker in the U.S. or places like Taiwan.

Huawei is not alleging that chip majors are also contributing to this controversy. In fact, Huawei works with several semiconductor companies in the U.S. and do business worth $5-6 billion a year, ensuring jobs to around 30,000 a year.

“The entire global telecom industry and security professionals were expecting that the US will come out with a couple of recommendations that will be followed by the industry. But they could not offer any evidence to anyone,” said Huawei’s Global Chief Security Officer John Suffolk.

Suffolk, who had earlier worked with 4 prime ministers in the U.K., said the industry needs a strong collaboration to settle cyber security issues. These are not China or America’s issues. There is no 100 percent proven security solution. We need to work together.”

“We work with 45 of top 50 telecom operators in the world. These operators or their countries never had any problem to work with Huawei. We will still work with America to convince them.” Suffolk added.

Interestingly, recently Clearwire said will be using Huawei hardware in its LTE 4G wireless networks. Clearwire started out using WiMAX for its 4G network, but in new network rollouts, the company is moving to LTE technology. Clearwire plans to start rolling out its new 4G LTE networks in 2013.

Reuters reports that the US government has given the green light to Clearwire’s network rollout using the Huawei equipment. Currently, the biggest shareholder and customer for Clearwire is Sprint. Sprint plans to use Clearwire’s LTE network that will operate on Huawei hardware.

Announcing Huawei’s whitepaper called Cyber Security Perspectives: 21st century technology & security – A difficult Marriage, authored by Suffolk, he said: “This is a step towards improving awareness of Huawei’s efforts in the area of cyber security and presents our view on actions companies and governments need to carry out to manage the global cyber security challenge.”


[email protected]