Canada shuts Huawei and ZTE out of 5G network: security concerns

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to ban the use of Huawei and ZTE telecommunications equipment and services in the country’s 5G and 4G networks.

The statement explained that after a thorough review by Canada’s independent security agency, the two Chinese high-tech companies were determined to be too great a security risk to be allowed to enter the country’s telecommunications network.

The Government of Canada is seeking to ensure the long-term security of its communications infrastructure. As part of that effort, the government intends to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canadian telecommunications systems

The Government of Canada may be forced to comply with extrajudicial directives from foreign governments in ways that conflict with Canadian law or are harmful to Canadian interests. We have serious concerns about suppliers such as Huawei and ZTE who may be forced to comply with extra-legal directives from foreign governments in ways that conflict with Canadian law or otherwise harm Canadian interests

As a result of this decision, telecommunications service providers in Canada will no longer be able to use the equipment and services of both companies. Existing Huawei and ZTE equipment must be removed from the network.

Specifically, existing Huawei and ZTE 5G equipment must be removed by June 28, 2024, and 4G equipment by December 31, 2027. In addition, procurement of new equipment and services from both companies must cease by September 1, 2022.

The move follows similar decisions by Canada’s close allies, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

In Europe, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden have expressed concerns about the security of telecommunications equipment from Huawei and ZTE and are all considering similar bans.

The United States, in particular, has accused Huawei and ZTE of theft of intellectual property and research and development, backdoors in telecommunications equipment, espionage, and violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

While Chinese companies deny all of the above, it has resulted in a sudden and dramatic drop in revenues from network infrastructure projects.

The rollout of the 5G network in Canada began in February 2019 and involved Huawei as one of our strategic technology partners at the time.