Wellington, Nov 29 (IANS) New Zealand blocked its top telecom firm from using Huawei equipment for its 5G mobile network, dealing another blow to the Chinese tech company’s ambitions to become a leader in the next generation wireless technology.
Spark, the country’s largest telecommunications company, said on Thursday that government officials told the company on Wednesday that using Huawei’s 5G equipment “would, if implemented, raise significant national security risks”.
New Zealand’s intelligence agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), confirmed the assessment in a statement to CNN.
“I have informed Spark that a significant network security risk was identified,” said Andrew Hampton, the Director General of GCSB.
Under the country’s telecommunications security law, Spark now cannot use Huawei equipment to build its planned 5G network.
Huawei is China’s biggest telecommunications and smartphone company.
It has invested heavily in 5G technology, becoming one of the few companies, like Sweden’s Ericsson (and Finland-based Nokia, capable of making competitive equipment for global 5G networks.
In response to the development, Huawei said on Thursday that it was “looking into the situation”, reports CNN.
“We will actively address any concerns and work together (with the government) to find a way forward,” the company said in a statement.
New Zealand’s move comes just months after Australia blocked Huawei from providing 5G technology for the country’s wireless networks.
The UK has also warned of potential security risks from using Huawei products.
The US, has effectively banned Huawei products since 2012.