July 17, 2019 / 2:46 PM / 5 months ago

Poland proposes tightening 5G security standards

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland has proposed tightening its cyber security standards and could ban certain products or suppliers from key parts of a future 5G network, the country’s digital ministry said in a document published on Wednesday.

The proposals, sent to the European Commission on July 15, come after assessments conducted by European states amid an international row over whether equipment made by China’s Huawei could pose a threat to national security.

Huawei faces intense international scrutiny over U.S.-led allegations that its equipment could be used for spying by the Chinese government. The company says its technology does not pose a security risk to users.

The digital ministry’s recommendations do not suggest that Poland will ban Huawei from its 5G roll-out, but leave room for doing so.

In the final quarter of 2019, Poland plans to introduce requirements to use only equipment provided by trusted suppliers, the document says. It also says there could be an obligation to diversify suppliers, at least in key areas of the network.

In 2020, Poland would make legal changes allowing it to exclude certain products or suppliers from its network.

Poland said it was also in favor of introducing an EU certification scheme for 5G equipment, with only certified products used in critical infrastructure and by key telecommunications operators.

Play Communications, the biggest mobile operator in Poland, whose network relies heavily on Huawei equipment, said introducing a certification scheme could result in higher equipment prices and a slowdown in implementing 5G technology.

“...we have great concerns related to the introduction of the obligation to certify hardware and software,” the company said in an e-mailed response to Reuters.

Orange Polska, a unit of France’s Orange, and T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, declined to comment, while Cyfrowy Polsat did not respond to a request for a comment.

In April, Poland’s deputy digital minister in charge of cyber security, told Reuters that Warsaw was considering raising security standards and setting restrictions for fifth generation, or 5G, networks.

Reporting by Anna Koper; Editing by Agnieszka Barteczko and Kirsten Donovan

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