Spanish government to prepare a list of ‘safe’ 5G mobile providers

The Spanish 5G Cybersecurity Act will impose the obligation for operators to carry out risk management analysis every two years. EPA-EFE/Marta Pérez

The Spanish government will draft a list of “safe” mobile technology suppliers for the future local 5G mobile network, assessing their level of risk and allowing the government to avoid issuing an explicit ban against Chinese giant Huawei or any other mobile operator, EFE reported.

The Spanish government of socialist PSOE and left-wing Unidas Podemos (United We Can) wants to identify the level of risk of all mobile providers who want to compete in the Spanish market next year before the summer, according to Spanish government sources quoted by Cinco Días and EFE.

A ‘neutral’ and independent approach

In assessing the level of the risk, a “scale” will be used, going from low to medium or high. Depending on the results of the independent assessment, mobile companies will be allowed, or not, to enter the new 5G market in Spain, the sources said.

This “neutral” approach rules out the a priori ban of any company, particularly of China’s tech giant Huawei, which has already been banned in other countries that caved in to US pressure.

The Trump administration has on several occasions accused Huawei of using its 5G networks deployed worldwide for industrial and military espionage purposes, putting them at the service of the Chinese government and the ruling Communist Party.

El País learned that all these proposals are included in the preliminary draft of the 5G Cybersecurity Act, which is expected to be approved next summer.

5G security a priority in our EU cyber centre bid, Spain says

Spain has begun jockeying for its candidacy to host the new European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre (ECCC), noting that the country’s track record in 5G and connectivity as reasons why it should be considered a frontrunner.

A selection …

Security risk checks every two years for companies

The Spanish 5G Cybersecurity Act will impose the obligation for operators to carry out risk management analysis every two years.

Spanish authorities should, for their part, perform risk management checks every six years to establish specific cybersecurity requirements for the deployment and operation of 5G networks in the country.

The final target is to develop a safe fifth-generation mobile network in Spain in an environment of trust so that the country can place itself in a leading position in the EU, the sources added.

The decision whether or not to allow the Chinese company to enter the 5G market in Spain will depend solely on the level of risk, assessed by Spanish experts, Spanish government sources quoted by Cinco Días stressed.

However, with this new legislation, the Spanish government is avoiding – rather diplomatically – having to impose an explicit ban against Huawei or any other mobile operator.

5G expansion: German foreign ministry gets a say, but no veto

Germany’s upcoming IT security law is intended to protect the country’s 5G network, among other things. When it comes to Huawei, the Foreign Office fought for a right of veto. The result: now it can have a say but not singlehandedly block a supplier. EURACTIV Germany reports.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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