New Zealand bans Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears

New Zealand bans Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears

Earlier this year, it secured a 5G contract with United Kingdom mobile operator Three, which has previously relied on Nokia for 3G equipment and Samsung as a 4G supplier. Tough Spark is quite disappointed with this decision but at the same time remains confident that it is all set to launch 5G network by July 2020.

"Huawei is aware of Spark's statement, and we are looking into the situation", said a Huawei spokesperson in emailed comments.

While the U.S. and Australia has long-standing bans on Huawei, former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was an active booster of the Chinese company, encouraging companies involved in the Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) rollout to consider its gear as a quality, cost-competitive auction.

Spark has not yet had an opportunity to review the detailed reasoning behind the Director-General's decision.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States government is trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in allied countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from China's Huawei Technologies.

But it's not the end of the road for Huawei, which could still play a part in Spark's network should the company choose to work with the GCSB to mitigate its concerns. "I have informed Spark that a significant network security risk was identified", he said.

The decision comes just a week after Spark and Huawei showcased a trial 5G network in Auckland, emphasising the separation of core and edge, with the companies already having achieved a 5G millimetre-wave (mmWave) call through the network.

Earlier this year, neighbouring Australia banned Huawei from supplying 5G equipment, also citing security risks.

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The Oshawa plant has the largest headcount among those slated to close, with 2,973 workers expected to lose their jobs. The reduction in executive ranks will equally involve global employees.

Huawei's 5G ambitions have encountered roadblocks in other countries.

Under New Zealand law, the GCSB must assess major network upgrades.

Huawei technology has been central to 2degrees' network since the telco launched a decade ago.

"The process is the GCSB provides a technical assessment and evaluation to determine whether or not there is the possibility of a threat to national security".

The US administration has been trying to convince allied countries to avoid the use of technology from Huawei amid concerns that the world's largest telecom equipment maker could be using its equipment for cyber espionage as part of cooperation with Chinese intelligence agencies.

Spark embraced Huawei for its 4G network after Alcatel-Lucent's debacle with its 3G network upgrade, branded "XT".

Huawei is China's biggest telecommunications and smartphone company.

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