Canada is guarantee 4G and 5G telecommunications equipment from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE, joins its “Five Eyes” allies in doing so. The decision comes after a three-year review was delayed due to political tensions with China after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on the orders of the US.
“Our government will always protect the safety and security of Canadians and will take whatever action is necessary to protect our critical telecommunications infrastructure,” said Minister for Change. Canada’s new, François-Philippe Champagne, said in a Press Release.
“We are disappointed but not surprised. We are surprised that it took the government so long to make a decision,” said Huawei spokesman Alykhan Velshi. Guardians. “We consider this a political decision, one born of political pressure primarily from the United States.”
Two of Canada’s largest wireless providers, Bell and Telus, turned to equipment from Ericsson and Nokia in 2020 to build their next-generation 5G networks. However, both operators have some Huawei 5G equipment as part of the so-called non-standalone 5G networks that are integrated with previous 4G networks. Those 4G networks are also built with Huawei equipment. Huawei has sold over $700 million in equipment to Canadian operators as of 2018, primarily for Bell and Telus.
Both operators reported previously approached the federal government to inquire about compensation from taxpayers for potentially removing Huawei or ZTE equipment. The CEO of a smaller operator in the North, Iristel, has previously said that a request to remove existing equipment would be “catastrophic”.
However, Champagne says that operators will be required to remove any Huawei or ZTE equipment at their own expense. Existing 5G equipment must be removed or terminated by June 28, 2024, and any 4G equipment by December 31, 2027, according to the policy statement.
The Five Eyes intelligence allies of Canada, the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, have banned wireless equipment from Huawei and ZTE. Canada has faced growing pressure to do the same, over fears it could affect the security of all five countries, as Chinese law requires state-owned companies to work with intelligence services.
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