European industrial policy chief Thierry Breton is set to dismiss claims that relying on European companies to build a 5G network would delay its rollout, weighing in on an increasingly tense debate in Germany over the risk posed by China’s Huawei, Trend reports citing Reuters.
In a speech at the DLD conference in Munich later on Sunday, Breton, a former French finance minister, will warn policy-makers in Germany and elsewhere that the new 5G technology will require more stringent security rules than previous generations.
“Setting up strict security conditions will not create delays in the roll out of 5G in Europe,” Breton will say, according to a copy of the speech obtained by Reuters.
“Europe, including Germany of course, is on track. We are not, and won’t be, late in Europe on the deployment of 5G,” Breton will say.
The warning by Breton contrasts with comments by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer who said earlier this week that if Chinese companies were excluded, the construction of the 5G network would be postponed for at least five to ten years.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are divided over whether to support a proposal by their Social Democrat junior coalition partners that, if approved, would effectively shut out the Chinese technology giant from the network.
Merkel’s right-left government, like all of Europe, is under pressure from the United States to bar Huawei, whose gear Washington says contains “back doors” that would enable China to spy on other countries.
Breton, who heads the vast ‘Single Market’ portfolio in the new European Commission which includes industrial policy, has said Europe should preserve its “technological sovereignty” by ensuring it has domestic alternatives in strategic areas.