Faced with mounting pressure to replace Huawei 5G equipment, South Korean telecom giant LG Uplus has stressed the Chinese firm’s telecom equipment does not pose any security risks.
Earlier this week, Robert Strayer, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for cyber and international communications and information policy, urged telecom operators using Huawei’s equipment, including LG Uplus, to switch to “trusted vendors,” citing security issues.
The US has long accused Huawei, the world’s leading vendor of 5G network equipment, of spying, claiming that the company can compromise the country’s internet communications and steal sensitive information.
In response to the US official’s comments, LG Uplus, the only local carrier using Huawei’s 5G equipment, said the Chinese tech giant has proven its equipment’s security, hinting that it will not cut ties with Huawei.
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“The carrier and the equipment provider have done all they can in terms of proving security,” an LG Uplus spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Local industry experts say LG Uplus has much to lose if it decides to replace Huawei products, considering the two companies’ business partnership over the years, reports Yonhap news agency.
“LG Uplus faces equipment compatibility issues if it switches to other 5G equipment providers since it has used Huawei products for 4G LTE services,” said Kim Jong-ki, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade. “An abrupt change would be costly and delay its plans to deploy 5G.”
The company currently uses 5G equipment from not only Huawei, but also other major 5G equipment vendors, such as Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson.
The pressure is weighing on LG Uplus as it tries to catch up to rivals in attracting 5G users. To date, LG Uplus remains tight-lipped over its new equipment plans.