back to article You know whose kit for 5G is Huawei better? Go on, have a guess, says UK mobile player Three

Huawei has the most advanced tech for 5G deployment, Three's director of network strategy has said - ahead of the government's pending review into the controversial supplier's UK telecoms footprint. Speaking to The Register, Phil Sheppard said the commercial roll-out of 5G is "imminent". He said: "In order [for us] to launch …

  1. The Dogs Meevonks

    So a Hong Kong (IE: Chinese) owned company is complaining that they can't currently use Chinese products to roll out 5G...and a company called Finite have just released a report that says that more than 50% of Huwawei networking gear has vulnerabilities that include potential backdoors and remote execution and are doing nothing to fix them.

    If the security of their gear cannot be absolutely assured (independently) and the company can absoloutely prove that there are not acting in anyway on behalf of or at the behest of the Chinese state. Then they shouldn't be allowed to supply gear into sensitive areas that could potentially compromise security of anyone (national, private or anything else).

    I make no statements that are are acting on behalf of or at the behest of any state actors... But whilst the risks to security exists and if the report is accurate. Then... yeah, they should be blocked from supplying gear.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Trouble is then who do you get to supply your gear ?

      They obviously have to be British, with British hardware, designed n Britain and made in British fabs (so the sneaky whoevers can't slip in hidden spyware)

      Not sure that GPO Dollis Hill is quite upto supplying 5G chips

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        china

        China do not have any real Fabs... thats the taiwanese BIG difference between those two

        China DO assemble printed circuit boards... rather good at copying a design...

        Personally I would have thought that companies would do a risk assessment and simply filled a factory full of decent robots at least they wont get tariffs or throw themselves off buildings

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Holmes

        Not sure that GPO Dollis Hill is quite upto supplying 5G chips

        You just can't get the valves* these days, except from Russia. So no...

        *Not bloody vacuum tubes, Leftpondians- this is all your fault :)

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Not sure that GPO Dollis Hill is quite upto supplying 5G chips

          I thought that vacuum tubes referred to the traditional dual walled 'Thermos' (and similar) beasties.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "You just can't get the valves* these days, except from Russia"

          Probably because they still run the same Siemens equipment they looted in 1945....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "You just can't get the valves* these days, except from Russia"

            Somehow, Dollis Hill managed all right w.r.t Valves in WW2 when building things like Collossus for Bletchley Park.

            I take it that you have not visited the NMoC then?

        3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Not sure that GPO Dollis Hill is quite upto supplying 5G chips

          >You just can't get the valves* these days, except from Russia. So no...

          And what is wrong with gear trains ?

      3. Tom 7 Silver badge

        I dunno, When I worked at Martlesham Heath we were successfully testing 9.6Gb parts in 1990. We beat the US and France to making parts for fibre-optic submarine cables. We surprised the hell out of Motorola by making parts using their process far faster and better than theirs. If privatisation hadn't closed research down I dare say the Chinese and US would be complaining we were adding spyware to our parts and they were going to kill us all with radiation.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      They already aren't allowed to put it in sensitive areas (edge and not core).

      It's all bullshit anyway, the only sensitive thing is qualcomm's ego.

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      You can do what you say.

      Then you don't have 5G.

      Or 4G.

      Or 3G.

      Probably not even 2G or GSM at all.

      Hell, most of your ordinary infrastructure networking can be binned too (e.g. routers, switches, etc.).

      And the computers / servers that run them. And the interfaces to the traditional telecoms network. Not to mention fibre convertors and other fibre interfaces, etc.

      There comes a point, like in America, where you can choose to only use a certain nationality of products and *DEMAND* their source code, inspections, etc. and only ever use products that meet that.

      And then you realise that code analysis is one of the most things in the world to do, needs top engineers to make sure it's happening properly, and they'll be analysing gear designed by world-class "adversaries" with government-levels of investment and tooling. And they'll need to do it before the product is released, for every product you want to use, for every firmware revision, in perpetuity, and for every new product that arrives (how do you know they didn't change the design/firmware?).

    4. Moosh

      "Hong Kong (IE: Chinese)"

      You don't have to read further than this to realise you have no idea what you're talking about

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "you have no idea what you're talking about"

        The Hong Kong frog is being boiled slowly by the Chinese cook... sure, sometimes he's a bit in a hurry, and asks for new extradition laws, but today making big business in HK needs to be aware of what Beijing thinks and wishes....

    5. localzuk

      With that attitude, you wouldn't even be reading The Register. The computer you're using wouldn't be running either - it'll be full of tech built that can't 100% guarantee security. Hell, just look at all the Intel CPU stuff over the last few years.

      Also, I bet you'll find that the quality of code in Huawei kit isn't *that* much worse than Cisco's or Nokia's. It is humans who are writing it after all...

    6. JohnFen Silver badge

      "If the security of their gear cannot be absolutely assured (independently) and the company can absoloutely prove that there are not acting in anyway on behalf of or at the behest of the Chinese state"

      The problem is that both of those criteria are impossible to achieve. This is equally true with non-Chinese gear. US gear, for instance, cannot be absolutely assured as secure (nothing can), and US gear manufacturers cannot prove that they are not acting in any way or on behalf of or at the behest of the US government.

      If we're going to apply minimal criteria for Chinese gear (and we should), then the criteria must be things that are achievable, and the same criteria must be applied to all gear regardless of where it was made.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And guess where the US gear 'manufacturers' gets the kit assembled...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most advanched, or cheapest?

    Knowing telcos, I'm not sure they are going to choose only on quality - especially for large and costly deployments. The less spent on infrastructure, the more profits, and executive bonuses....

  3. JohnFen Silver badge

    No compelling consumer benefit

    "But whether consumers will be convinced that 5G is worth forking out more for, remains to be seen."

    I see no compelling consumer benefit that would convince them. The benefit of 5G appears to be entirely to the telecoms and industrial customers.

    1. Snowy Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: No compelling consumer benefit

      Well you get to run out of your data allowance that much quicker

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: No compelling consumer benefit

        Probably not even that. It is unlikely that ordinary users will see any substantial bandwidth increase.

  4. Snowy Silver badge
    Joke

    Sure it is easier...

    To make it fast if you do not bother with making it secure, just ask intel :)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Monopoly supplier

    If Huawei are the only supplier of 5G equipment then they have a market monopoly. Is it wise to be dependent on one supplier, before interoperability has been proven? Presumably the costs will fall once there is competition, so we should delay roll out to get better value?

    To protect network backbones from potential backdoors, will there be a national masterswitch to disconnect all untrusted 5G hardware in the event that an exploit is discovered?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Monopoly supplier

      If Intel are the only supplier of server CPUs then they have a monopoly

      .. will there be a national masterswitch to disconnect all untrusted x86 hardware in the event that an exploit is discovered?

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Monopoly supplier

        Fortunately, Intel is not the only supplier of server CPUs.

        1. Mike007

          Re: Monopoly supplier

          In the Linux world, there is disagreement about what to call the 64bit variant of the x86 architecture.

          I prefer the "amd64" label. Those who experienced the days of Intel trying to prevent AMD "stealing their technology" will appreciate why.

  6. Kev99

    China doesn't need to use its military to take down the west. Its military and government owned / backed "independent" enterprises are lulling western companies into a false sense of security.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Blimey, do you work for Cisco?

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Pity you didn't patent "military-industrial complex"

  7. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Once again we hear from the people who know what they're talking about.

    Industry to government: please just let us do our job!

  8. bish

    Can't parse headline

    Confusing me too much it is.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fake news from Three

    Huawei gear isn't better, more advanced, or even first.

    It's simply cheaper.

    Three, like the other vendors, are simply concerned with ensuring they are able to cream maximum profits from the consumer while providing the least value.

    If HMG are at all concerned with security of Huawei products they should stop listening to provider news/lobbyists

  10. NeilPost Bronze badge

    Fibre will needs rippednout too

    Openreach’s FTTC is built around Huawei DSLAM kit - that will all need ripped out too.

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