Security standards of Malaysia are going to dictate which companies will take part in its proposed 5G release this year, Reuters reported that Malaysian communications minister told Reuters on Monday, as the United States forces countries to avoid China’s Huawei.
Will Huawei get a chance by Malaysia?
Huawei, which is the world’s largest equipment maker telecommunications, has remained at the center of a U.S. led crusade to avoid the use of Chinese technology in the making of the next-generation platform for telecommunications because of tension that the equipment could be utilized by Beijing for spying.
Huawei was placed on a trade blacklist by the United States in May, and in February U.S. prosecutors blamed it for stealing trade secrets and supporting Iran to track protesters. The company refuses the charges.
Malaysia knows about the “concerns that have been expressed around the world” regarding Huawei, however, it is going to be governed by its security standards in selecting partners for the nationwide 5G launch, which is planned for the third quarter, minister Gobind Singh Deo said.
“My position is very clear, we have our own safety standards, we have own safety requirements,” he stated in an interview. “So whoever deals with us, whoever comes up with proposals, we have to be certain and we have to be sure they meet the security standards that we have.”
Malaysia is seeking a healthy competition
When asked about whether Huawei had promised similar to the one made to India here on preventing “back doors” in its equipment, which the U.S. had claimed could be used by Beijing to execute undercover surveillance on other countries, Singh Deo said:
“I don’t think we look at one particular company and say this is how it should be,” he said. “When you talk about security, be it Huawei or anyone else, you want to be assured that whatever system they propose… is suitable for you. We do not say we will not deal with one particular company because generally there are security concerns.”
Malaysia is planning to release spectrum tenders in April and it is estimating that the development of 5G infrastructure would cost an approximate of 21.6 billion ringgit ($5.22 billion) over five years.
Huawei has already signed a deal regarding 5G technology with Malaysian mobile network operator Maxis and primary agreements with other telcos such as Telekom Malaysia and Axiata Group’s Celcom.
Apart from Huawei, other suitors who are in a search of a piece of Malaysia’s 5G business include Finnish company Nokia, which is poising to offer services for the trade-reliant nation’s ports industry, and Ericsson based in Sweden.
Singh Deo stated that the government was focused on involving as many companies as possible to foster a healthy competition in the name of improved services.
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