Sweden bans equipment of China’s Huawei, ZTE from its 5G networks

Stockholm: The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) on Tuesday said it has banned the use of telecommunications equipment of Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE from the development of 5G networks in Sweden at the recommendation of the country’s military.

According to Sputnik, the decision is of a larger licensing process to select companies that will develop Sweden’s 5G networks and set out the conditions of their services.

According to the press release, four companies were selected — Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sverige and Teracom.

PTS has decided on license conditions that address the assessments made by the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Security Service, for example … New installations and new implementation of central functions for the radio use in the frequency bands must not be carried out with products from the suppliers Huawei or ZTE. If existing infrastructure for central functions is to be used to provide services in the concerned frequency bands, products from Huawei and ZTE must be phased out January 1, 2025, at the latest,” the regulator said, as quoted by Sputnik.

The conditions were developed in consultation with the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Security Service “to ensure that the use of radio equipment in these bands does not cause harm to Sweden’s security”, according to the release.

The Swedish security service’s review of applications comes ahead of the government’s spectrum auctions planned to start on November 10.

Sputnik further reported that in August 2018, US President Donald Trump signed a decree that barred US departments from using network equipment made by Huawei and ZTE for national security reasons. Last July, the UK government said the country’s 5G networks would also be Huawei-free starting from January 2021 to the end of 2027.

In August this year, the US expanded its Foreign Direct Product Rule in an attempt to prevent Huawei, a Chinese tech company, from finding a way around American law through alternative chip production and provision of off-the-shelf (OTS) chips produced with tools acquired from the United States.

According to a statement released by the US Department of State, 38 Huawei affiliates have been added to its Entity List, which identifies foreign parties prohibited from receiving certain sensitive technologies.

The Department of State strongly supports the Commerce Department’s expansion today of its Foreign Direct Product Rule, which will prevent Huawei from circumventing US law through alternative chip production and provision of off-the-shelf chips produced with tools acquired from the United States. This measure follows the more limited expansion of the Foreign Direct Product Rule in May, which Huawei has continuously tried to evade,” Michael Pompeo, US Secretary of State said.

As an advanced wireless technology, 5G enables the real-time exchange of information at speeds of over 10 gigabits a second, which is 30 times faster than the current 4G networks. The new technology is the next step in internet connectivity speed and, as experts believe, has the potential to transform various aspects of modern life, according to Sputnik.