Nokia warns UK over using Huawei kit

The Finnish company has warned the UK against utilising Huawei’s equipment following fears over network security. 

Huawei, the leading telecoms company had been under increasing global pressure following accusations that it conducts surveillance on behalf of the Chinese government, with the US being the most vocal about it. 

Huawei has continuously denied all allegations. 

Marcus Weldon, Nokia’s chief technology officer told the BBC that due to pressure by the US, fairness is “returning to the market”, after Huawaii had been enjoying unfair financial advantages. 

“We were disadvantaged in the past relative to the practices that the Chinese were allowed to have in terms of funding mechanisms.”

A spokesman from Huawei responded to the statement that comments are misleading.

“We believe secure, resilient networks can only be delivered by collaboration across the whole industry, working to common standards on privacy protection and cyber-security, so that all participants can be judged equally.

“We have a proven track record of delivering secure, trustworthy and high quality products to every major telecoms operator in Europe. Cyber-security remains Huawei’s top priority and here, in the UK, we are subject to the most rigorous oversight compared to any competitors in our sector.”

Mr Weldon referred to a report from the US security firm Finite State, which had detailed vulnerabilities in the Huawei enterprise, and identified Huawei devices to be less secure.

GCHQ has also scrutinised Huawei’s security for being “shoddy” stating that it has to improve. 

Mr Weldon added:

“We read those reports and we think OK, we’re doing a much better job than they are.

“Some of it seems to be just sloppiness, honestly, that they haven’t patched things, they haven’t upgraded. But some of it is real obfuscation, where they make it look like they have the secure version when they don’t.”

He added that Huawei brings about a risk to Nokia and Ericsson and therefore the UK government should stay vigilant and take the issue very seriously in regards to Huawei’s 5G playing a critical role in key infrastructure. 

“That means being wary of adding Chinese vendors into network infrastructure, as long as these security vulnerabilities are either provably there or likely to be there based on past practices.”

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