New Zealand Govt Rejects Telco’s Plan to Use Huawei 5G Equipment

New Zealand bans Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears

New Zealand bans Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears

The GCSB has declined Spark's request to use Huawei technology in rolling out its 5G network, citing "significant national security risks".

New Zealand blocked its top telecom firm from using Huawei equipment for its 5G mobile network, dealing another blow to the Chinese tech company's ambitions to become a leader in the next generation wireless technology.

Spark said today it had been notified by the Director-General of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) that it can not use Huawei gear for the upgrade.

Today's decision isn't the end of the road for Huawei's involvement in the 5G rollout.

Huawei has been cited by foreign governments as a security threat, given its perceived closeness to the Chinese government.

The latest development could have diplomatic and economic implications for New Zealand, which relies on China as its largest trading partner but which is also part of the "Five Eyes" security alliance that includes the U.S., Britain, Canada and Australia.

The damning verdict comes after the telco giant notified Andrew Hampton - Director-General of the GCSB - in accordance with the requirements of the Telecommunications Act 2013, of its proposed approach to implementing 5G technology on the Spark mobile network.

"Huawei is aware of Spark's statement, and we are looking into the situation", said a Huawei spokesperson in emailed comments. The companies compete for customers over their own network of cell towers, using radio spectrum that is licensed from the government.

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.

Yesterday, Opposition leader Simon Bridges said he was yet to see a "smoking gun" that suggested New Zealand should be concerned about Huawei.

Earlier this month, Huawei said it would not bid on core 5G network components, as a way to avoid being banned from New Zealand as well.

Little said each decision regarding telecom technology was made separately under telecom and security legislation. A new bill also bars the United States government from buying equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

"The importance of multiple vendors to deliver price competitiveness still stands, so if this announcement has a similar impact on 2degrees it will be a real disappointment for competition", 2degrees corporate affairs chief Mathew Bolland told Reuters.

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