Huawei Technologies will open a new information security lab in Germany that will enable source code reviews, a move aimed at winning German regulators’ confidence before the country’s 5G mobile spectrum auction, Reuters reports.
Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) was quoted as saying that Huawei, China’s largest telecoms equipment maker, will open the lab on Nov. 16 in Bonn, where the BSI and other key regulators are based.
The lab would facilitate source-code reviews, a BSI official said. This entails examining the programming language used to run network gear, for example screening it for vulnerabilities such as ‘back doors’ that might allow spy agencies to gain covert access.
“We have to deal with the reality that there are few hardware manufacturers in Germany – they come from abroad,” a BSI official told Reuters. “Based on this reality, we have to achieve the best level of security possible.”
Huawei was among a group of telecoms providers and network equipment suppliers that took part in a workshop hosted by the BSI last week to address security in 5G networks.
Germany’s federal network regulator (BNetzA), which is also based in Bonn, is finalizing terms for the 5G licensing round that it plans to hold in the first quarter of 2019.
Total costs of building out Germany’s 5G networks could run to 80 billion euros (US$92 billion), making the stakes huge for Huawei and rivals such as Ericsson, Nokia and ZTE, Reuters noted.
Huawei has already gained a foothold, partnering with Deutsche Telekom on a 5G pilot project in Berlin.
Germany’s interior ministry said in answer to a parliamentary question last week that there was no legal basis to exclude any foreign equipment provider from Germany’s 5G buildout – nor was any such measure planned.
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