Huawei opens cyber security centre ahead of European LTE contract awards

In an effort to allay national security worries, Huawei has opened its own Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (CSEC) near Oxford in the UK. The company said that the new centre would enable it to showcase and test its network equipment against the threat of cyber attacks, and potentially dispel any security fears ahead of the fight for LTE contracts in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

Commenting on the launch of the centre, John Frieslaar, MD of the Huawei CSEC, said that the facility demonstrated the company's commitment to building mutual trust in the area of cyber security. "This centre is like a glasshouse--transparent, readily accessible, and open to regulators and our customers."

To provide some level of independent quality assurance, Huawei said that the CESG--the information assurance arm of GCHQ (the huge UK intelligence gathering organisation) would work with them to ensure Huawei products meet UK government security standards.

A CESG spokesperson said: "No system is completely invulnerable and the globalisation of the telecoms industry means it faces a growing range of cyber security threats. This security centre will not work in isolation. Robust operational management and network architectures will also contribute to enabling the UK to benefit from new technology whilst tackling the cyber security risks."

This move by China's largest telecom infrastructure vendor--and a leading supplier of LTE equipment, comes after the company (together with ZTE) encountered resistance from the Indian and US governments regarding the use of Huawei and ZTE technology in areas sensitive to national security concerns.

While Huawei has secured European LTE contracts with some operators, no UK service provider has come forward with any sign of commitment--accepting that UK licences are probably 18 months away. However, Huawei was responsible for O2's recent LTE trial near its HQ in the UK.

The recent decision by the French government to set a timescale for LTE auctions might now trigger Huawei to invest resources in that country to help overcome security concerns and indicate its level of commitment.

For more:
- see this Mobile News article

Related articles:
LTE: Vodafone links with Huawei for LTE tests
LTE deployment: T-Mobile and Orange remain cautious
TeliaSonera makes 'world's first' LTE Internet connection; T-Mobile Austria demos LTE
LTE voice: T-Mobile alone in pushing specs