5G standards: Could the US soon work with Huawei to set them?
7 May 2020
Some US firms stopped working with Huawei to develop 5G standards after US blacklisted the firm, but change may be here.
The United States Department of Commerce is close to signing off on a new rule that would allow US companies to work with China’s Huawei Technologies on setting standards for next-generation 5G networks, people familiar with the matter said.
Engineers in some US technology companies stopped engaging with Huawei to develop standards after the Commerce Department blacklisted the company last year. The listing left companies uncertain about what technology and information their employees could share with Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker.
The Commerce Department placed Huawei on its “entity list” last May, citing national security concerns. The listing restricted sales of US goods and technology to the company and raised questions about how US firms could participate in organizations that establish industry standards.
After nearly a year of uncertainty, the department has drafted a new rule to address the issue, two sources told Reuters. The rule, which could still change, essentially allows US companies to participate in standards bodies where Huawei is also a member, the sources said.
The draft is under final review at the Commerce Department and, if cleared, would go to other agencies for approval, the people said. It is unclear how long the full process will take or if another agency will object.
“As we approach the year mark, it is very much past time that this be addressed and clarified,” said Naomi Wilson, senior director of policy for Asia at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), which represents companies including Amazon.co Inc, Qualcomm Inc and Intel Corp.
The US government wants US companies to remain competitive with Huawei, Wilson said. “But their policies have inadvertently caused US companies to lose their seat at the table to Huawei and others on the entity list.”
The rule is only expected to address Huawei, the people familiar with the matter said, not other listed entities like Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision.
In adding Huawei to the list last May, the Commerce Department cited US charges pending against the company for alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran. It also noted that the indictment alleges Huawei engaged in “deceptive and obstructive acts” to evade US law. Huawei has pleaded not guilty in the case.
A Department of Commerce spokesman declined to comment. A Huawei spokeswoman also declined to comment.
“I know that Commerce is working on that rule,” a senior State Department official told Reuters on Wednesday. “We are supportive in trying to find a solution to that conundrum.”
The White House and departments of Defense, Energy, and Treasury did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“International standard setting is important to the development of 5G,” said another senior administration official, who also did not want to be identified. “The discussions are about balancing that consideration with America’s national security needs.”
Six US senators, including China hawks Marco Rubio, James Inhofe, and Tom Cotton, last month sent a letter to the US secretaries of Commerce, State, Defense, and Energy about the urgent need to issue regulations confirming that US participation in 5G standards-setting is not restricted by the entity listing.
“We are deeply concerned about the risks to the US global leadership position in 5G wireless technology as a result of this reduced participation,” the letter said.
In the telecommunications industry, 5G, or fifth-generation wireless networks, are expected to power everything from high-speed video transmissions to self-driving cars.
Industry standards also are big business for telecommunications firms. They vie to have their patented technology considered essential to the standard, which can boost a company’s bottom line by billions of dollars.
The ITIC’s Wilson said the uncertainty had led US-base standards bodies to consider moving abroad, noting that the nonprofit RISC-V Foundation decided to move from Delaware to Switzerland a few months ago.
The foundation oversees promising semiconductor technology developed with Pentagon support and, as Reuters has reported, wants to ensure those outside the US can help develop its open-source technology.
SOURCE: REUTERS NEWS AGENCY
The US Restricts Huawei In 5G, But WiFi Is Up For Grabs
The US and other countries restrict Huawei in 5G (even providing funding to “rip and replace” the equipment), but this does not stop the company from deploying in Wi-Fi networks. Once a device is deployed in WiFi, it can’t be forcibly recalled for security reasons. Huawei touts its role in WiFi 6, considered the future-proofing strategy for the WiFi industry. The Austin-based WiFi Alliance recently honored top tier member Huawei for its leadership in the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ program, allowing its products to be embossed with the WiFi CERTIFIED™ seal. The advocacy group recently congratulated Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai for the April 23 vote to designate 1200 MHz of the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use, quintupling the spectrum for technologies such as WiFi. The WiFi Alliance did not respond to a request for comment.
Unlicensed spectrum is celebrated for being free and open to anyone, and the WiFi industry plans to deploy hundreds of millions of connected devices in the 6 GHz band. However, providers of critical infrastructure services in public safety, communications, rail, electric, gas, water, and wastewater are not enthused; they operate some 100,000 fixed service links in the band, over which the forthcoming WiFi devices would be deployed. Failing to forestall the FCC’s proposal which they say threatens the safety of their networks, they urged the FCC to adopt greater controls to mitigate interference, as regulating power levels for transmission is insufficient to protect existing networks. For example, many homes have backyards that border a railroad, and the signal for their WiFi router, even at low power, can be observed outside. This means that a device need not have a security vulnerability to threaten critical infrastructure, to say nothing of deliberate security vulnerabilities.
The FCC may have denied China Mobile license to operate in the US for national security concerns, but its daughter company China Mobile Group Device Co. can access US networks through America’s standards organizations and its WiFi networks. Indeed China’s influence of international standards organizations to circumvent national security policy is well established area of policy research.
Today In: Enterprise Tech
Among the 800 members of the WiFi Alliance are many firms owned and affiliated with the Chinese government and listed in the US National Vulnerabilities Database, restricting their use in the federal government. These member firms include WiFi Alliance honoree Lenovo, world’s leading maker of laptops, ZTE Corporation (network equipment), Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Ltd. (surveillance cameras), Lexmark (printers), and TCL Corporation (smart TVs). My report Stealing from the States: China’s Power Play in IT Contracts documents how such companies have evaded rules against their deployment in US federal networks to embed themselves at the state level, home to treasure troves of sensitive data for elections, financial reports, and personal information but which have fewer security controls.
The bipartisan sanction of Huawei by Congress, the Department of Commerce, the FCC and other agencies may have stopped Huawei from federal networks and 5G, but it doesn’t necessarily stop Huawei in state government, private companies, and WiFi networks. Indeed, many vulnerable technologies proliferate where there are not explicit restrictions. Moreover, federal bans do not stop Chinese government-owned companies from playing important roles in US standard setting and IT advocacy organizations. Following placement on the Entity List, Huawei was ejected but then quickly reinstated as a member at the WiFi Alliance, IEEE, SD Association, and JEDEC. Some claim there is no choice but to accept Chinese government owned vendors in standards groups, but China’s endgame is clear: It has long been architecting an alternative version of the internet which does not include American technology nor any pretense of coexistence.
While the value of WiFi is undisputed, the FCC’s proposal would give restricted Chinese firms free rein to a wide swath of spectrum overlaying critical infrastructure for utilities, transportation and public safety.
Moreover, the US is behind on licensing mid-band spectrum where malicious vendors and devices can be excluded. China has some 500 MHz of mid-band spectrum in play for 5G, the US hasn’t even concluded its mid-band 5G auctions, itself a national security issue raised by two dozen security and defense experts. If we don’t want Huawei in 5G, it shouldn’t be in WiFi either.
Huawei 5G News
It has been coming—and now it’s here. Huawei 5G has gone live in Russia. This isn’t the first 5G pilot to launch in Moscow, but it is the most notable. It is based on an agreement signed between China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin at the 2019 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). The context of that discussion went to the heart of the emerging technology split between East and West, and so this launch has real political significance.
Russian network Tele2 went live in Moscow with Ericsson several weeks ago. And now, according to media reports this weekend, competing mobile operator MTS “has teamed up with Chinese tech giant Huawei for a 5G pilot scheme in Moscow—where for the first time the super-fast network will cover almost the entire city.”
5G pilots were not the only Huawei agenda item when Xi met Putin in June. That same meeting touched on the potential for Huawei smartphones to transition to Russian OS Aurora—which had been discussed in more detail between Huawei and Russia’s minister of digital development and communications. Last week, Reuters reported that Huawei is getting set to install Aurora “on 360,000 of its tablets to conduct Russia’s population census next year.” Reuters’ described the pilot as “the first stage of launching the Russian OS on Huawei devices.”
The same leaders’ meeting also covered the emerging tech split between the U.S. and its allies on one side, and China and others—including Russia—on the other. The so-called Splinternet strikes fear in certain intelligence agencies—loss of control, and across major players in the Western tech sector—loss of revenue. And those tech players include the likes of Intel, Qualcomm, Google and Microsoft.
At the time, it was also suggested Huawei might begin some Russian R&D and manufacturing, including “the joint production of chips and software.” The fact that the initial Aurora pilot looks set to be a Russian government program is consistent with the implication that there’s a deeper level of collaboration behind the scenes. Everything is linked.
Before the leaders came together in June, I had asked Moscow CIO and Government Minister Eduard Lysenko if he had concerns with the security risks associated with Huawei. Lysenko’s response was pointed. “The Russian Federation,” he told me, “has strict information security regulations which we always follow.” Russia and Washington have different views of the threat to national security from Huawei’s alleged intelligence links with Beijing.
5G was first piloted in Moscow in 2018, “during the World Cup,” Lysenko told me, “MegaFon, [another Russian network operators], used Nokia 5G equipment to demonstrate VR Broadcasts.” Now, though, “MegaFon have agreed to develop and implement 5G standards in Russia with Huawei.”
With respect to the Government of Moscow, the collaboration between China and Russia is a few pay grades up. And it extends to escalating hybrid warfare around the world, the peddling of influence and population control and interference, the ongoing cyber war in the Middle East, where both China and Russia see Iran as a unique proxy through which to battle the U.S. and its regional allies.
With the agreement between Xi and Putin signed, I quizzed Lysenko again on the role of Huawei. I asked him about the talks between Putin and Xi. “As I’m not part of the Russian Government,” he said, “I cannot be a source of information on the country leader’s agenda.”
As for Huawei’s role, he told me that “the Moscow Government has not signed any agreements with Huawei—the Moscow Government signed agreements with telecom operators and poses no restrictions on these operators and allows them to enter into agreements with different equipment suppliers.” Ironically, Lysenko described this Moscow-Beijing collaboration as “like in other European countries, securing the free market principle providing same opportunities for telecom operators and suppliers.”
And, as regards Huawei security concerns, his view hasn’t changed as the equipment has been deployed. “Our security systems are tailored to all types of threats,” he said “Of course, there are threats at various levels, but we are ready for them. In 2018, we repelled over 27,000 hacker attacks on our computers and are now constantly updating our security system.”
And so to that big picture. The emerging splinternet. “That China is a technology partner for us,” Lysenko told me, “is understandable and sufficiently predicted to build further relations—our primal interest is the growth of technological progress. Russia has fairly strict laws in the field of information technology development and we put forward serious safety requirements and demand their full implementation. Accordingly, we work only with those who can meet these requirements.”
Moscow is aware that it needs a defensible technical position in case other countries withdraw capabilities. “We do not know what position European companies will have in relations with Russia tomorrow,” Lysenko acknowledged. “In this sense, the story of Huawei is indicative. You can’t rely on the market of one country, you need to diversify the risks and that is what Russian operators are doing.”
And do Moscow’s citizens share the confidence in China’s technology in general and Huawei in particular? “We did not encounter any mass concerns of Moscow citizens on what is being written in the U.S. press. We did not receive complaints or requests to stop the exploitation of the Huawei.”
Moscow’s various 2019 5G pilots will build on the success of the World Cup trial, Lysenko had explained, with “full commercial use of 5G expected in 2020-2022.” The Huawei network will also “test so-called Smart City technology,” Russian media reported, “designed to improve security and urban services management, as well as helping to develop the transport system.”
But the real importance of this story goes way beyond the downloading of HD movies, the management of transportation systems or the development of citizen services.
Huawei executive says the ‘biggest winners’ in 5G will be its partners
LISBON, Portugal — A top Huawei executive has urged companies to partner with the Chinese tech giant to develop 5G technology applications, saying in a speech Monday that those who do will be the “biggest winners.”
In a keynote address at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal, Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping highlighted the company’s ambitions to be a global leader in 5G, adding the rollout of the new commercial networks is going “faster than expected.”
The 5G technology aims to bring faster speeds and lower lag times than previous networks like 4G and 3G. In addition to speeding up download times for consumers, 5G has been touted as a possible game-changer in applications like driverless cars and remote surgery that require quick, reliable internet connections.
Guo said the applications and software built on top of 5G “are what generate true value.”
“This is a huge market worth trillions of U.S. dollars,” Guo said. “The biggest winners will be our partners.”
U.S. officials have warned that Huawei’s 5G technology, which includes both software and networking equipment, poses a security threat because it could open a backdoor for Chinese spying. They point to Chinese laws that allegedly require every domestic company to assist with intelligence gathering if Beijing requests it. Huawei has repeatedly denied that it would engage in any form of espionage or provide data to the Chinese government.
In May, the U.S. placed Huawei on a blacklist, which forced American companies to get special licenses to do business with the Chinese firm. So far, no licenses have been granted, though U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview Sunday that they are coming “very shortly.”
As a result of the blacklist, Huawei was unable to license the latest version of Android’s operating system on its new Mate 30 smartphone. That means the phones will not come pre-installed with Google apps like Maps, YouTube, or Gmail.
Huawei has instead been developing its own operating system called HarmonyOS and is investing $1.5 billion over the next five years to encourage developers to design apps for its devices.
“Huawei’s smartphones, smartwatches, and smart screens are very popular,” Guo said Monday. “To deliver better experience, we are opening up to more third-party apps and services.”
Vodafone UK Huawei 5G Site Visits with Field Performance Testing
Huawei begins testing 5G in Malaysia nationwide
Huawei chief offers to share 5G know-how for a fee
12 September 2019
Ren Zhengfei says a Western buyer could modify his firm’s products to meet the US’s security concerns
Huawei’s chief executive has proposed selling its current 5G know-how to a Western firm as a way to address security concerns voiced by the US and others about its business.
Ren Zhengfei said the buyer would be free to “change the software code”.
That would allow any flaws or supposed backdoors to be addressed without Huawei’s involvement.
The US and Australia have banned their networks from using Huawei’s equipment. The UK is still weighing a decision.
Huawei has repeatedly denied claims that it would help the Chinese government spy on or disrupt other countries’ telecoms systems, and says it is a private enterprise owned by its workers.
One expert, who had previously cast doubts on Huawei’s claims to independence, said the idea of it helping another country’s business to compete represented an “extraordinary offer”.
“Perhaps the explanation is that Huawei recognises that it is unlikely to be able to bypass the efforts the Trump administration is putting into minimising its scope to operate in North America, Western Europe and Australasia,” said Prof Steve Tsang from Soas University of London.
“But it’s difficult to see Nokia or Ericsson being interested in buying it. And it’s also difficult to see how an American company would be able to reassure the Trump administration that it’s absolutely top notch American technology.
“And if they can’t do that, why would they want to spend tens of billions of US dollars on something that will quickly become out-of-date.”
The deal would allow a Western firm to use Huawei’s tech to making competing 5G products
It would include ongoing access to the firm’s existing 5G patents, licences, code, technical blueprints and production engineering knowledge.
“This would create a balanced situation between China, the US and Europe.”
Speaking to the Economist he added: “A balanced distribution of interests is conducive to Huawei’s survival.”
A spokesman for Huawei has confirmed the quotes are accurate and the idea represents a “genuine proposal”.
At present, Europe’s Nokia and Ericsson are the main alternatives to Huawei when it comes to networks selecting what 5G cell tower base stations and other equipment to install.
South Korea’s Samsung and China’s ZTE are other alternatives.
But while American firms including Cisco, Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have developed 5G-related technologies, the US lacks an infrastructure-equipment specialist of its own.
Beyond the licensing fee, Huawei could benefit because it might convince Washington to drop restrictions that currently prevent it buying US-linked technologies for its own use.
One consequence of this is that Huawei faces having to launch an Android smartphone later this month that will not offer Google apps such as YouTube or the Play Store.
A deal would also help ensure Huawei gets its 5G technologies widely adopted.
For instance, 5G supports two different coding techniques for data transmission to help tackle interference.
Huawei has developed a technique called “polar codes”, which it says will give 5G devices longer battery life than an alternative favoured by many Western firms called “low density parity check”.
If polar codes are widely adopted, Huawei will earn more patent fees from device-makers that support them.
One company-watcher, however, suggested Ren’s proposal was doomed to fail.
“The issue is not the trustworthiness of Huawei as a vendor but the legal obligations that the Chinese government imposes on it.
“China’s National Intelligence Law requires Chinese businesses and citizens to surrender any data or ‘communication tools’ they may have access to, under strict punitive sanctions.
“Any equipment or software that Huawei licenses to an US entity would still fall under this obligation, and there is no way that the licensing entity or the intelligence agencies could scrutinise millions of lines of code for potential backdoors.”
But Prof Tsang said the proposal was still a “smart move”.
Even if Huawei’s offer is ultimately rejected, he explained, it demonstrates that the company is willing to go to remarkable lengths to try and win the West’s trust.
Huawei believes banning it from 5G will make countries insecure.
Chinese giant warns of potential for backdoors in 6G thanks to AI.
By Chris Duckett September 1, 2019 Topic: 5G
Huawei may be lacking 5G contracts and 100 former employees in Australia as a result of its banning in 2018, but one thing it is certainly not lacking is gumption.
The Chinese giant’s recently appointed chief technology and cyber security officer David Soldani said last week that Australia is set for a world of cyber pain.
“Blocking companies from certain countries does nothing to make Australia any safer from cybersecurity issues — in fact it just makes things worse because they are not addressing the real issues on cybersecurity,” Soldani said.
The CTSO warned that thanks to Huawei being ahead of its rivals in 6G research, it could see how insecure those networks could potentially be as the attack surface becomes larger.
“With the converge of management and control plane, AI will poses a significant impact on network security, as it might be exploited to launch more effective attacks, and in some scenarios, the security of AI systems is a matter of life and death,” he said.
“Unlike security vulnerabilities in traditional systems, the root cause of security weaknesses in machine learning systems lies in the lack of explainability, which leaves openings that can be exploited by adversarial machine learning methods such as evasion, poisoning, and backdoor attacks.
“Attackers may also implant backdoors in models and launch targeted attacks or extract model parameters or training data from query results.”
The wording from Soldari is particularly interesting, considering that the term backdoors is quite heated when placed next to the word Huawei.
Head to the nearest interview with founder Ren Zhengfei, and once again Ren repeats past assurances about not installing backdoors.
“I can assure you that I won’t allow backdoors on our equipment,” Ren told the UK’s Sky News last month.
And yet, Huawei in Australia is warning that even if its 5G equipment is clean, there is a technology coming down the pipeline that can absolutely be backdoored, thanks to the black box of artificial intelligence.
Intelligence folks in Canberra who warned the distinction between edge and core networks was diminished in 5G, will be positively high-fiving their foresight with Huawei’s 6G warning.
“The distinction between core and edge collapses in 5G networks. That means that a potential threat anywhere in the network will be a threat to the whole network,” then Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) Mike Burgess said in October.
“In consultation with operators and vendors, we worked hard this year to see if there were ways to protect our 5G networks if high-risk vendor equipment was present anywhere in these networks.
“At the end of this process, my advice was to exclude high-risk vendors from the entirety of evolving 5G networks.”
Burgess has since moved up to become Australia’s spy chief, as Director-General of Security for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
Before he returned to the ASD, Burgess was chief information security officer for Australia’s incumbent telco, Telstra. Suffice to say that the new ASIO chief is fully up to speed on the cybers, especially in the telco space, and would be extremely unlikely to overturn a ban that he recommended.
However, Soldari claimed that banning companies would be counter-productive.
“It actually makes Australia less secure because it means we have to then increase our reliance on just one or two other vendors — neither of whom are having their equipment tested,” he said.
“Unless Australia changes it approach and adopts a standards and certification led approach to security then it will simply sleepwalk into a world of cybersecurity problems in both 5G and 6G for which it is totally unprepared.”
It’s an interesting piece of mind bending that Huawei is trying to push: By cleaning up its telco supply chain on a nationwide scale, Australia has made itself insecure. Or to put it another way, to fight a particular disease, don’t focus on the vaccines, a cure is the only way to win.
A fortnight ago, Huawei Australia chair John Lord really turned up the mind bending when he told the ABC the local arm had legal advice that exempted it from Chinese laws.
“We are immune. We have two legal opinions that says it does not apply to us,” Lord said.
“It definitely does not apply to us outside of China … we can put our equipment in, it’s operated by telcos who are in Australia, maintained by Australians and therefore, there is no way in the world any information in Australia will be handed over to any other government in any country, will be handed over to a foreign government.”
If you think that Beijing would allow one of its own companies to refuse its demands under China’s national security laws, or American companies would defy Washington during a national emergency, I think you are in the right frame of mind to purchase the Sydney Harbour Bridge: It’s only had one owner, and has low mileage.
The best reason for Australia’s Huawei ban was delivered by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in March, who said it was not done at the behest of another nation or for protectionist reasons, but because it defended Australia’s sovereignty and as a “hedge against changing times”.
“It is important to remember that a threat is the combination of capability and intent,” Turnbull said.
“Capability can take years, decades to develop. And in many cases won’t be attainable at all. But intent can change in a heartbeat.”
As a western middle power glances around the world thinking about which countries could potentially turn hostile, the chances of China facing off against the west whether in a cyber or kinetic form is many orders of magnitude higher than Finland, Sweden, or South Korea — the homes of Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung respectively.
In a world where anyone telling you they know what will happen next week is either misinformed, lying, or both, who is to know what an authoritarian regime in the Middle Kingdom will decide to do, let alone the collection of unpredictable leaders running the Anglosphere.
Given these circumstances, prudence alone says Australia is better off trusting equipment from Stockholm, Seoul, or Helsinki than Huawei, if only to deny Beijing home ground advantage in our telco networks. It’s the same reasoning that would see China glare at American equipment inside of its networks.
New Rule Prohibits U.S. Government Agencies From Acquiring Telecommunications Equipment or Services From Huawei, ZTE, Certain Other Chinese Companies
In an interim rule published on August 13, 2019, the U.S. government revised the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to prohibit federal agencies from acquiring telecommunications equipment or services produced or provided by Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation and certain other Chinese companies. The new rule applies to “covered telecommunications equipment or services,” which include the following:
“Any telecommunications equipment or services produced or provided by Huawei, ZTE, or their subsidiaries or affiliates;
video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, Dahua Technology Company, or their subsidiaries or affiliates if such equipment is used for public safety or national security purposes;
video surveillance or telecommunications services provided by such entities for any purpose; and
telecommunications or video surveillance equipment or services produced or provided by an entity owned or controlled by, or otherwise connected to, the government of the People’s Republic of China.”
The same rule prohibits federal agencies from acquiring any equipment, system or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system. The rule, which implements Section 889(a)(1)(A) of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), became effective August 13, 2019. Interested parties may submit comments on the interim rule until October 15, 2019.
New Rule Details
Contracting officers now must insert a new provision, FAR 52.204-24 (Representation Regarding Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment), in all solicitations for contracts and all notices of intent to place an order under indefinite delivery contracts (including GSA Schedule contracts). That provision requires each offeror to represent that it will, or will not, provide to the government equipment or services covered by this rule in the performance of any contract, subcontract or other contractual instrument resulting from the solicitation. If the offeror responds affirmatively in the representation, it must disclose significant detail about the identity, operation, proposed use and manufacturer or producer of the equipment, and any factors relevant to determining whether the proposed use of the equipment would be permissible because, for example, the equipment cannot route or redirect user data traffic or permit visibility into any user data or packets that the equipment handles.
Contracting officers also must insert a new clause, FAR 52.204-25 (Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment), in all contracts and orders under existing contracts—including contracts for commercial items and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) items—that implements the prohibition against delivering to government customers equipment or services covered by the new rule, and imposes strict reporting requirements on contractors that discover such equipment or services during contract performance. Basic information about the discovered equipment or services, and any readily available information about mitigation actions undertaken or recommended, must be reported to the contracting officer (or, for Department of Defense contracts, to https://dibnet.dod.mil) within one business day of identification. Within 10 business days, the contractor must report additional information about mitigation efforts, the efforts it took to prevent the use of the discovered equipment in the first instance and any additional efforts that will be implemented to prevent future occurrences. Contractors must include the new clause in all subcontracts, including subcontracts for commercial items.
Implications for Contractors
Sellers of telecommunications equipment and services to government customers must account for and implement this prohibition, and the related reporting requirements, in both their sourcing operations (including through amendments to subcontracts and other supply agreements) and in their related strategic decision-making. Failure to do so can lead to various adverse consequences, including, for example, allegations of civil or criminal violations of the false claims and false statements statutes.
Although not implemented by the current rulemaking, a related aspect of the FY2019 NDAA (at Section 889(a)(1)(B)) has implications for government contractors generally. As of August 13, 2020, U.S. government agencies may not enter into, extend or renew a contract with an entity that uses telecommunications equipment or services of the sort described above. This related prohibition will be implemented in future rulemaking, but contractors in all industries should review their existing telecommunications equipment and services and consider changes that may be necessary to comply with the prohibition that takes effect next year.
2019 Perkins Coie LLP
Huawei agrees to UK security steps to avoid 5G ban
Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre says it has ‘concerns around a range of technical issues, and has set out improvements Huawei must make
PUBLISHED December 7, 2018
Embattled Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies has agreed to British intelligence demands to address risks in its equipment and software, as the company seeks to be part of the United Kingdom’s 5G mobile network plans, according to a Financial Times report on Friday.
Huawei executives met with senior officials from Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), where they accepted a range of technical requirements to ease security fears, according to sources cited by the report.
The NCSC said in a statement that it was “committed to the security of UK networks, and we have a regular dialogue with Huawei about the criteria expected of their products.”
“The NCSC has concerns around a range of technical issues and has set out improvements the company must make,” it said.
Shenzhen-based Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment supplier, has come under heightened scrutiny after its chief financial officer was arrested in Canada last Friday on a US extradition request, raising fears of an escalation in the trade war between China and the US.
Beijing called the arrest of Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, as a “despicable rogue’s approach” and part of a campaign to stymie China’s hi-tech ambitions.
Over the summer, Australia barred Huawei from providing 5G technology for wireless networks over espionage fears.
Embattled Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies has agreed to British intelligence demands to address risks in its equipment and software, as the company seeks to be part of the United Kingdom’s 5G mobile network plans, according to a Financial Times report on Friday.
China races ahead of West in pursuit of 5G
Standards and prices work in country’s favor as launch of new tech nears
TAKASHI KAWAKAMI, Nikkei staff writer
November 29, 2018
GUANGZHOU – As the advent of fifth-generation wireless technology approaches, Chinese companies look to leverage their technological and price advantages to come out on top, even as Washington works to shut them out of the U.S. and other markets.
At the World Internet Conference held in November in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said excitedly that this company hopes to announce a 5G-compatible smartphone next March or April.
With the smartphone market in a slump, Xiaomi is among the many Chinese companies pinning their hopes on 5G technology, which boasts transfer speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G. 2019 is expected to be the first year of the 5G era, with Huawei Technologies planning to roll out a 5G phone in June and ZTE aiming to do so between July and September.
These companies are keeping a close eye on the U.S., where rivals appear to be a step ahead. Motorola is slated to release a 5G-capable smartphone early next year in partnership with wireless carrier Verizon Communications, while South Korea’s LG Electronics and rival carrier Sprint plan to launch their own in the first half of the year.
This may appear as though China is playing catch-up, but the country enjoys advantages over the U.S. in certain key respects.
One is telecommunications infrastructure. As smartphone makers prepare 5G-compatible devices, wireless carriers are rushing to build the necessary networks. Chinese carriers plan a total of $400 billion in 5G-related investment over the five years through 2020.
China already has 350,000 5G cell sites, more than 10 times the U.S. total, according to Deloitte. The Asian country is expected to be the world’s largest 5G market in 2025 with 430 million subscribers — well over double the estimated U.S. figure.
Chinese players are also gaining momentum overseas. Huawei has shipped parts for more than 10,000 base stations in 66 countries. ZTE has partnered with Dutch carrier KPN on 5G testing, and is using ultralow prices to make inroads into European markets.
China’s choice of wireless technology has also given it an edge.
High-speed wireless transmission systems can be broadly divided into two types: TDD (time division duplex) and FDD (frequency division duplex). China has focused on developing TDD technology as a matter of national policy since the 3G era, while U.S. and European players have generally opted for FDD. The two perform much the same when it comes to 4G, but TDD is expected to be the main choice for 5G, as FDD cannot manage the necessary transfer speeds.
Washington is watching China’s advances with alarm, owing partly to worries about Chinese-built networks enabling large-scale spying by Beijing. The U.S. and Australia have both barred Chinese players from their 5G markets, citing security concerns, and Washington has recently begun pressing major allies to do the same.
But critics argue that this is not a realistic option. Countries that shut out Chinese companies and their know-how could find their own 5G infrastructure lagging behind.
This situation prompted a ZTE executive to declare recently that his company is years ahead of European competitors in terms of 5G technology.
“It will probably take American and European businesses more than a year to catch up with Chinese companies,” a former executive at a Japanese wireless carrier said.
Huawei Claims 2-Gig Speeds in London 5G Trial
Chinese tech company teams with British wireless operator Three UK for test using 100MHz C-Band spectrum
-Daniel Frankel, Nov 21, 2018
Chinese tech company Huawei said it has achieved 2 Gbps download speeds during 5G fixed wireless download trials being jointly conducted with British wireless operator Three UK. Huawei said the trials utilized the 100MHz C-Band spectrum and that speeds actually averaged around 1 Gbps over time. With cable operators vested in DOCSIS 3.1-powered HFC networks, the speed boast will undoubtedly raise interest. Verizon has deployed 5G fixed wireless in a number of U.S. markets, but speeds average around 300 Mbps, topping out at just under 1 Gbps. In the UK, Three recently committed to spending more than $2.5 billion to deliver 5G services. Network technology vendor Huawei, of course, faces steep hurdles in markets including Australia and the U.S.m which believe its products provide the means for Chinese operatives to conduct espionage.
“Huawei will continue to work with Three UK to bring customers more market-leading commercial applications of 5G,” Huawei 5G product line president Yang Chaobin said in a statement.
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