The EU restricts “high risk” providers in their 5G networks

The EU restricts "high risk" providers in their 5G networks

The EU decides to control 5G networks providers.


Brussels today asked the EU Member States to restrict or prohibit the participation of “high risk” providers in the critical parts of their 5G telecommunications networks, according to a series of cybersecurity measures backed by the European Commission on Wednesday. . The established guidelines will harm Huawei, but it is unlikely that they will appease the United States, which demands the total exclusion of the Chinese giant from its telecommunications networks due to alleged security problems.

The non-binding recommendations of the European Commission, agreed by the 28 countries of the block, try to address cybersecurity risks at national and community level. The concern revolves mainly around Huawei, although the guidelines do not identify any particular company or country.

EC Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager has assured at a press conference that the recommendations have been made objectively and “tailored to the risks identified” and that they hope to explain “at an international level” their decisions.

The EC has made these measures public one day after the United Kingdom announced that it allows the Chinese company to participate in the deployment of its 5G network, but excludes the Chinese giant from sensitive parts of the network and its strategic locations such as nuclear power plants and military bases. It also restricts the presence of Huawei in the non-critical points of the 5G network (base stations and antennas) to 35%.

“What we are defining today is a European strategy for 5G that respects the open nature of the internal market and the safety of citizens and our technological sovereignty,” added Vestager. The risks to which the measures refer are not related to technical factors, but to the “possibility of interference from non-EU states or state-backed actors through the 5G supply chain.”

“Today we are equipping EU member states, telecommunications operators and users with a toolbox to build and protect a European infrastructure with the highest safety standards so that we all benefit fully from the potential that 5G has to offer. “added the Commissioner for Internal Market of the European Commission Thierry Breton.

The EC has supported the security risk mitigation measures in future 5G mobile networks promoted by the Member States after dedicating 2019 to identify those risks and prepare a joint report. In any case, these are community recommendations that countries will not have the obligation to follow given that the construction of these new networks is a national competence, although they are confident that their “coordinated” application will allow a safe exploitation of this technology, “which it will affect the entire internal market and the technological sovereignty of the EU “..

The EU believes that the deployment of 5G networks is key and strategic to boost economic growth and compete with the US and China. Therefore, the guidelines given also advise States to use several 5G providers instead of relying on a single company. Brussels estimates in 225,000 million euros the world income that 5G networks will generate by 2025, and as they clarify, this technology will have an important impact on key sectors for the European economy, from the management of hospitals or cities to transport or various energy sources.

The Commission needed to be ready to strengthen the 5G cybersecurity of the block through the use of commercial defense tools against dumping or foreign subsidies. EU countries have until April to implement the guidelines and report on their progress in June. The recommendations approved by the EC and communicated today have been agreed by the 28 Member States, the Commission itself and the EU Cybersecurity Agency.


The Commission will support the implementation of these measures using “all the tools at its disposal” in order to guarantee the security of the 5G infrastructure and its supply chain. To do this, it will consider the rules of telecommunications and cybersecurity, coordination on standardization and certificates at EU level, the framework of scrutiny of foreign direct investments to “protect the supply chain” of the European 5G, trade defense instruments or competition rules.

Also, public tenders, ensuring that safety aspects and community financing programs are duly taken into account, so that the beneficiaries comply with the relevant security requirements.

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