Canada joins Five Eyes allies in banning Huawei and ZTE 5G telecom gear

Canada is banning 4G and 5G telecom gear from Chinese corporations Huawei and ZTE, becoming a member of its “Five Eyes” allies in doing so. The determination follows a three-year overview that was delayed by political tensions with China after Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on a US warrant. 

“Our government will always protect the safety and security of Canadians and will take any actions necessary to safeguard our critical telecommunications infrastructure,” mentioned Canada’s innovation minister, François-Philippe Champagne, in a press release.

“We’re disappointed but not surprised. We’re surprised it took the government so long to make a decision,” Huawei spokesperson Alykhan Velshi advised The Guardian. “We see this as a political decision, one born of political pressure primarily from the United States.”

Two of Canada’s largest wi-fi suppliers, Bell and Telus, switched to Ericsson and Nokia gear in 2020 to build their next-generation 5G networks. However, each operators have some Huawei 5G gear in place as a part of so-called non-standalone 5G networks built-in with earlier 4G networks. Those 4G networks have been additionally constructed utilizing Huawei gear. Huawei has sold over $700 million in gear to Canadian operators since 2018, principally to Bell and Telus. 

Both operators reportedly approached the federal authorities in the previous to ask about compensation from taxpayers for potential elimination Huawei or ZTE gear. The CEO of a smaller Northern operator, Iristel, beforehand mentioned {that a} requirement to take away current gear could be “catastrophic.” 

However, Champagne mentioned that operators shall be required to take away any Huawei or ZTE gear at their very own expense. Existing 5G gear have to be eliminated or terminated by June 28, 2024 and any 4G gear by December 31, 2027, in line with the coverage assertion.

Canada’s Five Eyes intelligence allies, the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, have already banned Huawei and ZTE wi-fi gear. Canada has confronted rising strain to do the identical, over fears it might compromise the safety of all 5 nations, provided that China’s legal guidelines require state corporations to cooperate with intelligence companies. 

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