About the story:
U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency that blacklisted Chinese telecoms giant Huawei in a bid to protect America from “foreign adversaries”, urging other nations to follow suit. A leaked report by telecoms lobby group GSMA estimates the cost of banning Chinese equipment to be as much as a staggering $62bn.
Why is it important?
Banning Huawei could yield many consequences for Europe: from stalling the deployment of 5G to significantly raising costs for mobile operators in terms of rebooting their testing processes and replacing any existing Huawei equipment. But that’s not all. Non-Chinese companies lag behind in their ability to build radios, with more than 40% of the telecoms market already relying on vendors such as Huawei or ZTE.
Banning such companies could place a strain on rival equipment makers, which may not be able to cope with demand in the short-term. Conversely, the U.S. alleges that not imposing the ban leaves the door open for an onslaught of cyber attacks and espionage against regions and communities.
What the expert had to say:
Our client, Steve Patton, director and cybersecurity specialist for Telesoft Technologies, had this to say about Huawei, “Mobile providers need to ensure they have an absolutely best-in-class and highly trusted supply chain contributing to 5G networks,” Patton told Verdict. “If they don’t then they will end up dealing with huge costs – both monetary and reputational – if a major security incident occurs.”
Patton added, “Monetary impact is easy to estimate, but what is not as easy to quantify is the impact a breach would have on an organisation’s reputation and brand; from negative headlines to a social media-led outcry – all of which could affect future subscriber sign-up and retention rates, all negatively affecting the bottom line.”