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UAE telecoms company sees no evidence of ‘security holes’ in Huawei’s 5G

Image credit: Dreamtimes/Reuters

United Arab Emirates (UAE) telecoms company du has seen no evidence of security concerns regarding Huawei’s 5G technology, the firm’s chief technology officer (CTO) has said.

Saleem Albalooshi, du’s CTO, said: “Huawei is our partner in rolling out our 5G... From a security perspective.. we have our own labs in the UAE and we visit their labs... we have not seen any evidence that there are security holes specifically in 5G.”

In recent months, the telecoms giant has been under intense international scrutiny over claims that any involvement of Huawei equipment in early stages of 5G networks could be exploited for espionage by the Chinese government.

Furthermore, Washington has been warning allies against using the Chinese company’s equipment, which it says presents a security risk. In May, the US Government placed Huawei on a list of blacklisted companies (the so-called ‘Entity List’), restricting its access to much of American hardware and software.

Huawei, however, has repeatedly denied the US allegations, which were raised earlier this month during a visit by Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain – all of which use Huawei equipment.

When asked about the US threatening to reconsider its data-sharing arrangements with nations who opt to use Huawei equipment in its 5G networks, Alabooshi said it is a concern.

“Of course, this is definitely a concern,” he said, “but such a thing is the government’s decision. We follow our government’s roads and we are governed by the regulator.”

Last week, on 4 October, the founder of one of India’s largest mobile carriers, Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Airtel, voiced his support for Huawei – while Washington’s blacklisting of Huawei continues to put pressure on its 5G and consumer business. 

In late September, Ren Zhengfei, CEO and founder of Huawei Technologies, said that his company is prepared to license its 5G mobile technology to a US firm to help alleviate the security concerns over the use of its products in the country.

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