New Zealand spy agency bans Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears

New Zealand spy agency bans Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears

Spark said it had wanted to use Huawei 5G equipment in its planned Radio Access Network, which involves technology associated with cell tower infrastructure.

"The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) regulates network security under the Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Act (TICSA)".

New Zealand's global spy agency on Wednesday halted mobile company Spark from using Huawei equipment in its planned 5G upgrade, saying it posed a "significant network security risk".

The move comes amid the USA administration's call on wireless and Internet providers in a number of allied countries to abandon the use of Huawei equipment, which Washington accuses of espionage, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Telecommunications services provider Spark New Zealand Ltd., which made the request, said November 28 that it would review the reasoning before considering any further steps.

The decision comes as Western nations become increasingly wary of what they say is possible Chinese government involvement in fifth-generation mobile and other communications networks. "As the GCSB has noted, this is an ongoing process".

The company has repeatedly denied there is a security risk.

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The action follows a similar ban in Australia, where the Chinese telecommunications giant was blocked in August from rolling out Australia's 5G network due to security concerns.

Huawei said the multi-vendor trial network - which consists of a Cisco evolved packet core and Huawei 5G NR and RAN - had "fully isolated" each component.

According to intelligence services minister Andrew Little, Spark - whose request was part of the country's first 5G application - could work with the agency to mitigate risk.

United States officials are reportedly anxious about the prospect of Chinese telecom-equipment makers spying on or disabling connections to an exponentially growing universe of things, including components of manufacturing plants.

Little said he had not been called upon to make any decisions on the matter. As Huawei has helped New Zealand's Parliament to set a 5G test site it's quite to ban a company when the launch is quite near.

Little said each decision regarding telecom technology was made separately under telecom and security legislation.

The Chinese government expressed "grave concerns" about the decision, with Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang saying in Beijing on Wednesday that he hoped "New Zealand will do more to benefit mutual cooperation".

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