Poland may not exclude Huawei 5G equipment over cost concerns for mobile operators

Poland’s telecommunications infrastructure relies heavily on Huawei equipment.

Poland is unlikely to exclude all Huawei equipment from its next generation mobile networks, a government minister told Reuters, in part to avoid increased costs for mobile operators.

Poland may not exclude Huawei 5G equipment over cost concerns for mobile operators

Huawei headquarters in China.

Huawei, the world’s largest maker of mobile network infrastructure equipment, faces intense scrutiny in the West over its relationship with China’s government and denies U.S.-led allegations that its 5G equipment could be used for spying.

Polish officials told Reuters in January that the government was prepared to exclude China’s Huawei from 5G networks in the wake of the arrest of a Chinese Huawei employee and a former Polish security official on spying allegations.

Karol Okonski, Poland’s deputy digital minister in charge of cyber security, said Warsaw is considering raising security standards and setting restrictions for fifth generation, or 5G, networks, with a decision likely in the coming weeks.

“When it comes to new investments, we are quite determined to set clear government expectations when it comes to the security of used equipment,” Okonski said.

This would bring Poland in line with the approach of the European Commission, which late last month shunned U.S. calls to ban Huawei from 5G networks, calling instead for tougher rules.

Poland’s telecommunications infrastructure relies heavily on Huawei equipment, in part because it offered lower prices than competitors. Operators are also using its gear in 5G trials.

Okonski said Warsaw is talking to operators about potential changes to existing telecom equipment, although the cost of eliminating existing Huawei equipment means the government could allow some of it to remain.

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