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Don't let Huawei help set up 5G mobile networks, US warns EU nations

In December, European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip echoed US warnings about the threat posed by Huawei and ZTE

AFP | PTI  |  Brussels 


US officials are fanning out across to warn about the security risks of allowing Chinese to help build mobile networks, a said Tuesday.

considers the matter urgent as countries prepare to roll out fifth-generation networks that will bring near-instantaneous connectivity, vast data capacity and

"We are urging folks not to rush ahead and sign contracts with untrusted suppliers from countries like China," a told reporters in

The said he was meeting EU officials as well as those in Belgium, and Germany, while colleagues will be travelling to and elsewhere to underline US concerns.

"Going with an like or ZTE will have all sorts of ramifications for your national security," he warned, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It could also undermine intellectual property protection, privacy and human rights, he added.

He said Washington's priority was warning where strong alliances make the "national security component even more compelling from the US point of view."

In December, echoed US warnings about the threat posed by and ZTE who -- under a 2017 Chinese -- are required to cooperate with Beijing's

Speaking on Tuesday, Ansip said the Commission, the European Union's arm, can play a limited coordinating role.

"National security is up to the member states," the former Estonian said.

"If the member states ask to coordinate, to take the common approach, then historically the Commission has always done so. We will do so if asked," Ansip said.

Huawei strenuously denies its equipment could be used for espionage. The commercial stakes are high.

Experts say Huawei is between six months and one year ahead of Sweden's in terms of the quality of its equipment.

And Finland's Nokia, is said to be even further behind.

Several operators have already begun tests in several French cities with Huawei equipment, such as France's and

Deutsche Telekom, in an internal document obtained by Bloomberg, warned that could fall behind and the by as much as two years if it forgoes using Huawei's equipment.

The said was motivated by security rather than commercial interests, adding that Ericsson, and Korea's would benefit from a Huawei ban -- and not US firms.

First Published: Tue, February 05 2019. 23:45 IST