European Union countries can either restrict or exclude high-risk 5G vendors like Huawei from core parts of their telecoms networks, according to the new guidelines, which seek to address the cybersecurity risks to the bloc's 28 countries at a national and European Union level.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration condemned the decision with a senior US administration official saying he was "disappointed".
Washington has banned Huawei from the rollout of the next-generation mobile network that offers nearly instantaneous data transfer because of concerns that the firm could be under the control of Beijing, an allegation it strongly denies. "If the report in the Handelsblatt "Smoking gun: Federal Government has evidence against Huawei' suggests this, we strongly reject it". Huawei's equipment is comparatively cheaper than that of rivals Ericsson and Nokia.
The measures are similar to those taken a day earlier by Britain, which also opted not to introduce an outright ban on Huawei, instead prohibiting it from supplying equipment used in the core, while limiting its role in supplying less sensitive antennas and base stations.
The UK government, however, noted that Huawei would be designated as a high-risk vendor, and would be excluded from sensitive networks in the Critical National Infrastructure, while its presence in other networks will be capped at 35 percent. Trump had said he anticipated talking with Chinese President Xi Jinping "very soon" and the Huawei move may sweeten the tone of those discussions.
The EU's executive Commission on Wednesday outlined a set of strategic and technical measures aimed at reducing cybersecurity risks from fifth-generation, or 5G, mobile networks. However, the complementary guidance published by the National Cyber Security Center in the United Kingdom highlights the company as a high-risk provider.
Jimmy Jones, a telecommunications security expert at Positive Technologies, says that the line between the core functions of the network and the periphery becomes blurred as all components become more software driven.
London's announcement on Tuesday of a limited role for Huawei infuriated Washington, which says it can not be trusted with such important infrastructure because it is too close to the Beijing government.
"We will make sure that when American information passes across a network we are confident that that network is a trusted one", he said. Its argument is Huawei is playing a long game by inserting its equipment in5to telecoms networks before being called on by the Chinese government to help mine foreign data.