October 24, 2019 / 8:18 AM / 19 days ago

Czechs unlikely to differ from Germany on Huawei approach: minister

FILE PHOTO: A Huawei company logo is pictured at the Shenzhen International Airport in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic is likely to follow the approach of Germany and other neighboring countries in addressing issues related to Huawei while building 5G networks, the industry minister was quoted as saying on Thursday.

The Czech cyber security watchdog NUKIB warned last December of potential risks from using Huawei technology, which raised questions over the role it can play in building next-generation 5G mobile networks after a frequencies tender next year. But that has not led to an outright ban of the Chinese company.

It comes as the United States has led a campaign to convince allies to ban the firm from future networks. Huawei denies U.S. allegations it is able to spy on customers.

Germany this month finalised rules for the build-out of 5G networks that will not exclude Huawei.

Czech Industry Minister Karel Havlicek told newspaper Pravo on Thursday that the state was following how the issue was playing out in Europe.

“The technology which is the foundation of building 5G networks has a global character and I cannot imagine that we would have different parameters set for the approach to Huawei or any other company in the Czech Republic than in Germany or Poland,” Havlicek said.

The telecoms regulator CTU is due to launch an auction of 5G frequencies early next year and has said the Huawei issue is not a threat to that plan.

The NUKIB warning from last December was still valid, Pravo also quoted the office’s head, Radek Holy, as saying on Thursday. Holy said a report on the state of cyber security in the country would be ready at the earliest by the end of the first quarter next year.

Reporting by Jason Hovet, editing by Deepa Babington

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