Germany considering banning Huawei from 5G as pressure builds

18 Jan 2019

Image: © UMB-O/

The German government is considering banning Huawei from providing 5G equipment, citing security worries.

The race to deploy 5G technology is kicking off in earnest, with some US telecoms providers already running into trouble for misleading customers. Elsewhere, the supply of equipment to meet the demand of 5G networks is a key priority for many governments. Central to their requirements is, obviously, security.

The woes of Chinese tech giant Huawei are well documented at this point, with countries such as the UK and Australia taking a step back from the deployment of its 5G equipment, citing security worries. Now, the German government is said to be considering a ban on Huawei providing 5G equipment to shape its future network.

Considering a ban

According to German newspaper Handelsblatt, chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration is examining ways to exclude the telecoms firm from the development of the country’s 5G networks. Previously, the country’s interior ministry said it opposed the exclusion of suppliers from its 5G plans.

Huawei is one of the biggest producers of telecoms equipment and has consistently refuted claims that it poses an espionage risk to other countries using its products in their networks. Regarding the German report, the company said it sees “no rational reason why it should be excluded from building 5G infrastructure in Germany, or indeed any country in the world”.

Meanwhile, in Canada, China’s ambassador to the country warned of “repercussions” if the country elected to ban Huawei from its own 5G plans. According to Bloomberg, the issue in Canada is heightened by the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in the country at the behest of the US government. Canada is currently reviewing spectrum allocation and national security in preparation for 5G.

Huawei still in the thick of 5G development

The Chinese company is continuing to develop its technology, despite the geopolitical turmoil surrounding it. In Beijing, Huawei recently completed the 5G NR (New Radio) test at 2.6GHz spectrum in the 5G trial organised by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group.

Yang Chaobin, president of Huawei’s 5G product line, said: “In the early stage of 5G network deployment, C-Band and 2.6GHz are undoubtedly the most mainstream frequency bands.

“The C-Band industry chain is gradually becoming mature under the joint efforts of all of us. Similarly, the industry chain of 2.6GHz needs to be promoted together.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects