Under the EC’s plan the 28 countries in the EU are to carry out national risk assessments in the next three months, then a further 15 to act on and improve the new standards to protect critical communications infrastructure.
UK government security agencies as well as authorities in the Czechia and Poland have also expressed great concern about deploying Huawei equipment in national infrastructure. But operators such as Deutsche Telekom, and Vodafone UK and others have expressed fears that not using Huawei equipment for 5G will cost them millions and delay deployment – they point out the bloc is already lagging behind Asia and North America.
The European Commission has been criticised for the slowness of its response to the issue, as 5G rollouts are in train across the EU, along with spectrum auctions.
Andrus Ansip, European Commission VP in charge of the digital single market., stated,“5G technology will transform our economy and society and open massive opportunities for people and businesses… But we cannot accept this happening without full security built in.”
The commission will receive assessments from the EU countries by the end of June, including those posed by vendors from outside the EU. From this, the Commission will draw up a Union-wide risk assessment by October, then add the mitigating steps that need to be taken by the end of the year.