WASHINGTON — The U.S. is banning the sale of communications equipment made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE and restricting the use of some China-made video surveillance systems, citing an “unacceptable risk” to national security.
Dish Wireless is using Open Radio Access Network technology to help it build its 5G network
Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for communications and information and NTIA administrator said, "The highly consolidated global market for wireless equipment creates serious risks for both consumers and U.S. companies." Davidson is talking about security risks that have continued to follow companies like Huawei and ZTE. Both firms have been accused of hiding "back doors" into their equipment that collect personal and corporate data and send it to servers in Beijing. Both firms have denied having back doors in their equipment.
Returning to the U.S., the plan is to replace proprietary telecom equipment from firms like Nokia, Ericsson, and Huawei with ORAN (Open Radio Access Network). ORAN uses standard computer parts to replace the networking equipment that wireless providers have previously been forced to buy. The program will start with a public comment period that runs through January 23rd. Money for the program comes from the Chips and Science Act.
ORAN is already being used by Dish Network in the U.S. and Japan's Rakuten. Back in May, before the U.S. announced this initiative, Dish signed a deal with Samsung and stated, "Samsung's 5G solutions will play an integral role in our network expansion, giving us the flexibility to deploy our cloud-native network with software-based solutions that support advanced services and operational scalability."
The statement, made by John Swieringa, President and Chief Operating Officer, Dish Wireless, added that "We look forward to working with Samsung, whose industry leadership in vRAN and ORAN innovation will help to support our vision of delivering open, interoperable cloud-based 5G services to consumers and enterprises across the U.S."
Now that the U.S. plans on spending $1.5 billion to deploy ORAN, companies involved in the industry should benefit from the goal of the United States to keep Huawei and ZTE out of all U.S. wireless networks.
Huawei this week further cemented South Africa’s reputation as a leading destination for data centres on the African continent, announcing new updates to its data centre facility channel partnership plan. These updates will Excellerate continuity between Huawei Digital Power and its distributors and partners, focusing on the key areas of protection, profitability, simplicity and growth.
Speaking at the Huawei Data Centre Facility Ecosystem Strategy Launch this week, Xia Hesheng, President of Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa’s Digital Power Business, highlighted the growing importance of data centres, pointing out that in the coming decades, we can expect to see 10 times growth in general computing and 500 times growth in AI computing power. Data centres will be critical to achieving that growth.
“The accelerated demands for decarbonisation, digitisation and intelligence will stimulate the explosive growth of data and computing power as the core foundation of the digital economy, fuelling demand for data centres,” he said. “Global energy uncertainty, meanwhile, will intensify demand for critical power supply systems. Both mega-trends indicate huge potential opportunities in the data centre and critical power supply businesses. Huawei is committed to building a fair and growing ecosystem with its partners to embrace these opportunities.”
Coming at a time when South Africa is establishing itself as the pre-eminent destination for data centres on the African continent, Huawei’s updated plan aims to help more potential partners play a meaningful role in the sector’s growth. It will do so by lowering entry barriers for partners, as well as redefining Huawei Digital Power’s certification requirements to fit the talents of its partners more accurately. In its new form, the plan also establishes new incentive and protection rules to ensure shared benefits for all parties and to guarantee fairness.
Huawei recently launched the latest version of its smart DC modular hitting PPUE lower than 1.2, micro range UPS, which has extremely high reliability and efficiency ratings.
Ultimately, Huawei hopes to use the updated policy to better collaborate with its local partners and drive continuous technical innovation to build an open, vigorous and benefit-sharing ecosystem. Huawei also emphasised the importance of forging relationships with like-minded partners to realise opportunities in a carbon-neutral era, continuously innovate, Excellerate capabilities and collectively lead the overall development of the data centre industry.
Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.
Huawei's end-to-end portfolio of products, solutions and services are both competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers, working to empower people, enrich home life, and inspire innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.
At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward. We have more than 180,000 employees, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.
For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com or follow us on:
Approach finding success in remote regions cut off by high mountains
China is making what is arguably the world's biggest push to reduce the digital divide between rural and urban residents, according to experts.
The country's mobile carriers and telecom tower builders are pouring tons of resources into ensuring that more people have access to fast, affordable mobile communications and broadband network services, officials said.
The move is part of broader efforts of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Finance to promote inclusive telecom services.
The central government, local governments and telecom carriers have earmarked billions of dollars since the end of 2015 to overcome geographical barriers to expand network construction. That allows more people to benefit from upgraded internet services.
One focus is to expand the telecom signal coverage in the Daxing'anling Mountains in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, officials said. The famous mountain range, located in the most northern area of China, is known as "nature's treasure trove."
Last year, the MIIT approved a plan to build 121 4G telecom base stations in the mountain range, and most of the construction work has already been completed.
After the project is completed, public network coverage is expected to increase from less than 10 percent to about 50 percent in the forest farms, scenic spots, fire watch towers, important roads and key fire danger areas in the mountains. Forest farming combines trees with crops or livestock.
E Liye, a forestry worker in the mountainous area, is one of the local people who have benefited from expanded telecom services.
From April to November, E and his colleagues went deep into the mountains to do field surveys. Starting this year, data collected by forestry workers does not have to be ferried back to technicians for analysis by motorcycle. Instead, it is transmitted in real time through the 4G network.
According to the MIIT, more will be done to increase coverage and support for key rural counties, border areas and key forest and grassland fire prevention areas as well as villages, forest farms, pastures and along major transportation routes. At the same time, the construction of 5G networks in rural areas will also be increased year by year.
Similar efforts are also being made in Yunnan province, changing the lives of people in remote areas. One of them, Xiong Yulan, 34, said she has childhood memories of the thundering explosions that once served to summon villagers for rallies.
In the early 1990s, gunpowder was the most efficient way to send messages in Xiong's hometown, the Dulongjiang township in Gongshan county, since no phones were available in that area, which is near the Derung River.
In 2019, Xiong and other residents started to see changes in the availability of 5G services as China Mobile, the nation's largest mobile telecom operator, set up a 5G station in the distant township.
Xiong said she was thrilled when she tried virtual reality glasses connected to the 5G network. She could see Kunming, Yunnan's provincial capital, about 900 kilometers away, in real time.
"It's wonderful. I feel like I'm there," she said. "I want to reach out and touch the buildings and the cars passing next to me."
Xiong's township and adjacent areas are a major center for the community of ethnic Derung residents. The journey of the Derung from having no telephones to using a high-speed 5G network has come at an accelerated pace as local telecom operators and tower builders pour in resources to ensure that more people have access to fast, affordable mobile communication and broadband network services.
China Mobile, for instance, said it invested more than 160 billion yuan ($22.3 billion) through 2020 to Excellerate network infrastructure in poor areas.
The success of such efforts is not just about money, but also is dependent on frontline employees in poor villages, officials said. Frontline workers must overcome geographical barriers to build telecom base stations and teach villagers how to use phones.
Dulongjiang, once listed as one of the nation's least developed regions, had changed very little until the founding of New China in 1949, officials said.
Poverty in the Derung River region is partly a result of the area's geographical complexities. It is not only mountainous, but also frequently struck by snowstorms in winter and landslides in summer.
Two decades ago, it took three days to walk from Dulongjiang to Gongshan county center. The township, which was unable to receive telephone calls until 2004, was the last ethnic minority area in China to access basic telephone services.
In 2014, thanks to telecom carriers including China Mobile and China Unicom, Derung people finally gained access to 4G services.
The process was by no means easy, officials said. The best time for construction in Dulongjiang lasts only two months a year. Also, because of geographical barriers, it was extremely difficult to transport materials to build base stations, making the transportation costs incredibly high, according to Ma Chunhai, an employee at China Mobile's Gongshan branch.
Ma and his colleagues often had to cross over Gongshan Mountain to find appropriate locations to build base stations, even in heavy wind and snow.
In June 2014, 4G services finally opened in Dulongjiang. It is now supported by more than 30 base stations, allowing residents to enter the information highway, even though there's no geographical highway connecting the village with the outside world.
Now, because of the efforts of telecom carriers such as China Mobile and China Telecom to expand the network infrastructure, Derung people have entered the 5G era.
"In the past, Derung people were secluded from the outside world, but today we keep pace with other regions and even more developed coastal cities in terms of 5G technology," said Gao Derong, former head of the government of Gongshan county, which administers Dulongjiang.
Only 6 percent of the world's population live in areas without mobile network coverage, according to the GSMA Mobile Economy Report 2022, produced by the London-based Global System for Mobile Communications. But a huge usage gap remains since many people who have coverage still don't use the internet. In 2021, the usage gap included 3.2 billion people, or 41 percent of the world's population.
To help solve the problem, Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is working closely with industry organizations and partners.
Huawei said its information communications products are expected to bring connectivity to 120 million people in remote areas in over 80 countries and regions by 2025, the company said last month.
The plan is part of Huawei's push to drive broader connectivity in the digital economy era, and to explore how to use better connectivity to create greater business and social value while promoting sustainability, the company said.
By the end of 2021, Huawei's RuralStar telecom systems had already helped connect 60 million people in remote areas in more than 70 countries and regions, the company said.
"Connectivity is not just the cornerstone of the digital economy, but a basic right for every human being," said Liang Hua, chairman of Huawei.
Connectivity is expected to become more than just a tool for convenient communications. Together with digital technologies like the cloud and artificial intelligence, connectivity will help bring everyone into the digital world and drive social progress, Liang said.
U.S. prosecutors on Thursday asked a judge to dismiss bank fraud and other charges against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies whose 2018 arrest strained relations not only between the U.S. and China, but also Canada and China.
Meng struck a deal with the prosecutors last year for the charges against her to be dismissed on Dec. 1, 2022, four years from the date of her arrest in British Columbia on a U.S. warrant, as Reuters reported first.
With no information Meng violated the deal, "the government respectfully moves to dismiss the third superseding indictment in this case as to defendant Wanzhou Meng," Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Carolyn Pokorny wrote in a Dec. 1 letter to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly.
While Thursday's move was expected, it closes a chapter on a particularly fraught phase of U.S.-China relations that also thrust Canada into the middle of a broader clash between the two superpowers.
Meng had been accused of bank fraud and other crimes for misleading global bank HSBC Holdings Plc about the company's business in Iran to obtain banking services in violation of U.S. sanctions.
As part of her deal — a deferred prosecution agreement — she acknowledged that she had made false statements about the company's Iran business in a 2013 meeting with a bank executive.
Meng's untrue statements were in a statement of facts that she agreed was accurate and voluntary and would not contradict.
Huawei, a telecommunications equipment maker the U.S. views as a national security threat, is still charged in the case, which is pending in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y. No trial date has yet been set, and a status conference is scheduled for Feb. 7.
The charges against Huawei include everything from bank fraud to sanctions busting to conspiracy to steal trade secrets from U.S. technology companies and obstructing justice. It has pleaded not guilty.
WATCH | Canada makes long-awaited decision on Huawei:
In the wake of its alleged activities, Huawei was added to a U.S. trade-ban list, restricting U.S. suppliers from doing business with the company.
The United States also waged a global campaign against Huawei, warning that the Chinese government could use the company's equipment to spy.
Just this week, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission adopted final rules banning new telecommunications equipment from Huawei.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, now serves as the company's rotating chairwoman and deputy chairwoman as well as its chief financial officer.
She flew to China from Canada on Sept. 24, 2021, the day she struck the deal. Two Canadians arrested in China shortly after she was detained were then released — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — and two American siblings who had been prevented from leaving China were allowed to fly home.
Months after the two Canadians were released, Ottawa followed its Five Eyes security allies such as Britain and Australia by banning Huawei from Canadian 5G networks.
A lawyer for Meng declined comment and a spokesperson for Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to ban the equipment for Huawei, ZTE, and more Chinese companies. The FCC says that it adopted “new rules prohibiting communications equipment deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to national security from being authorized for importation or sale in the US”.
This is a new hit to Huawei, as the company already suffered following the other ban issued upon it. As most of you know by now, Huawei’s recent phones ship without 5G support due to this ban, while Google Play Services are also not supported on the company’s devices. That’s all because of a past ban, which we won’t get into again.
This new ban presents a new hit on Huawei, ZTE, and a number of other companies. If you check out this list, you’ll see a full list of companies whose communication equipment has been banned. The list includes Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hangzhou Hinkvision, and Dahua, plus their subsidiaries and affiliates.
FCC also said the following: “This is the latest step by the FCC to protect our nation’s communications networks. Recently, the Commission, Congress, and the Executive Branch have taken multiple actions to build a more secure and resilient supply chain for communications equipment and services within the US”.
This ban basically makes sure that the communications equipment from the listed companies cannot be allowed under the supplier’s Declaration of Conformity procedure, or being imported, or even promoted under rules that exempt equipment authorization.
As a reminder, the US President Joe Biden signed the Secure Equipment Act back in November last year. That act requires the Commission to make these rules.
It is also worth noting that the Commission also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, thus requesting more comment on the rules and procedures barring “coveted” equipment. The Commission basically wants some input on potential action on existing authorizations.
The FCC’s Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, commented on the decision: “The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders, and we are continuing that work here. These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications”.
The Galaxy S23 series that Samsung will launch in the first quarter of next year should feature satellite communications support, just like Apple’s iPhone 14 and Huawei’s Mate 50 series. While a report says that Samsung has been developing the feature for a couple of years, Samsung is still following Apple’s lead in the industry. But if there was one feature every Android vendor should copy, it’s support for satellite communications for emergencies.
In September, Apple announced support for satellite communications for the entire iPhone 14 lineup, but the feature just rolled out a few days ago. iPhone 14 owners can test the feature to see how Emergency SOS over satellite works. Unlike Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, the iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity will only work in case of emergency.
Specifically, people in distress who can’t connect to Wi-Fi or a cellular network to call emergency services will be able to text them via satellite. The iPhone 14 lets users share their location with loved ones when they’re off the grid.
According to ET News, Samsung is working with satellite communication company Iridium, which has 66 low-orbit satellites around the planet. The plan is to provide voice and data communication services.
Samsung has been developing the feature for a couple of years, looking to overcome the difficulties associated with satellite communications. The company reportedly wants to transmit text messages and low-resolution images over satellite. This would be an upgrade over what the iPhone 14 can do.
The biggest challenge is miniaturizing a satellite antenna to fit inside a smartphone like the Galaxy S23. Voice and high-speed data communication over satellite require large antennas. These are features that aren’t coming to smartphones anytime soon.
Even though Samsung appears to have bigger goals for satellite communications, it should still replicate the iPhone 14’s primary use for the technology. Adding satellite support to a phone for emergency services would be a welcome first step toward bringing more sophisticated satellite communication to smartphones.
The report says that Samsung should release its satellite communication products in the near future due to pressure from Apple and Huawei. Therefore, flagship phones like the Galaxy S23 series should be the first to support the technology. Still, it’s too early for Samsung to talk about these initiatives. An official refused to confirm or deny the feature.
Samsung should unveil the Galaxy S23 series in February or March.
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Huawei has signed a global commitment to join the International Telecommunication Union’s Partner2Connect digital alliance, which will bring connectivity to about 120 million people in remote areas in more than 80 countries by 2025.
Liang Hua, Chairman of Huawei, announced the decision at the company’s 2022 Sustainability Forum, Connectivity+: Innovate for Impact. The forum explored how ICT innovation could unleash the business and social value of connectivity and drive sustainability in the digital economy era.
Speakers at the event included senior leaders from the ITU and United Nations, telecom ministers and regulators in Cambodia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, and business leaders, partners, experts, and customers from China, South Africa, Belgium, and Germany.
“It is clear connectivity alone is not enough. It must be affordable, the content must be relevant and in the local language, and users must have the skills to make best use of it,” said ITU Deputy Secretary-General Malcolm Johnson. “Thank you to Huawei for their support of the Partner2Connect (P2C) Digital Coalition, and for their announced P2C pledges in the key areas of rural connectivity and digital skills.”
The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commissions, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, applauded Huawei Nigeria for the sustained effort over the years in bridging the digital divide with innovative solutions to ensure that all connect the unconnected. Through NCC’s initiatives, “by September 2022, active mobile users connection have reached over 150million from 90million in 2015, moreover, active mobile voice subscribers have increased from 150million in 2015 to over 200million as at September 2022”. This achievement was made through the sustained collaborative effort of all stakeholders from policymakers to international organizations and innovative providers. He also highlighted the importance of providing innovative infrastructure solutions to facilitate mobile networks, especially to disadvantaged areas, one of such solution is “the award-winning Huawei Rural Star Solution” which has been made possible by NCC’S effective regulations regime and various initiatives.
NCC is driving effective implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and strategy 2020-2030 and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 to drive the coverage of rural development in underserved communities through reduced cost of rural services and improved digital literacy and skill all in a bid to enable communities to transform, reduce poverty by educating and upscaling the youth, creating jobs and improving lives.
Cao Ming, President of Huawei Wireless Solution, said: “As an enterprise with the most complete ICT capabilities, Huawei integrates the full-technology innovation potential of equipment, sites, energy, transmission, and antennas to address the difficulties faced by traditional site deployments, such as high costs, restricted transportation, lack of power, and maintenance challenges. We have continuously upgraded the RuralStar and RuralLink solutions to extend quality coverage to remote areas, enabling more people, community hospitals, schools, local governments, and small- and medium-sized enterprises to enjoy the same high-speed broadband connectivity experiences as those in cities”.
The RuralStar series solutions have provided connections for more than 60 million people in remote areas in more than 70 countries.
The construction of optical broadband networks offers another important route to realizing a universal service. Huawei has proposed an innovative AirPON solution for areas with low population density, including remote areas. This solution continuously reduces the footprint of equipment rooms, optical fiber installation costs, and network power consumption, while ensuring the rapid deployment of local communication networks.
In Africa alone, Huawei has laid more than 250,000 kilometers of optical fibers, enabling 30 million households to access high-speed broadband. User experience has seen constant improvement. The average speed of home broadband already exceeds 30 Mbit/s, bringing a smarter, faster, and smoother home network experience.
As ICT infrastructure continues to evolve, innovative technologies like cloud and AI are allowing those in rural and remote areas to enjoy the convenience of a digital world. Huawei Cloud has proposed the Everything as a Service strategy and made Huawei’s more than 30 years of technical expertise and digital transformation experience available through cloud services. This means that access to Huawei’s digital infrastructure capabilities on the cloud is now just as easy, affordable, and sustainable as water and electricity.
Digital transformation, digital talent, and new business models are all essential for balanced development in remote regions. Huawei previously announced that by 2025, with the improved ICT infrastructure, the company will work with partners to enable 500 million people to enjoy digital financial services and 500,000 people to enjoy inclusive education.
Huawei is committed to inclusive development. Through its ongoing technological innovation, Huawei is contributing to a higher level of digitalization in remote regions, enabling everyone to enjoy the convenience of digital life, and promoting the balanced development of the global digital economy.
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“The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders, and we are continuing that work here,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, in a prepared statement.
Huawei declined comment Friday. Along with Huawei and ZTE, the order affects products made by companies such as Hikvision and Dahua, makers of widely used video surveillance cameras.
The FCC’s order applies to future authorizations of equipment, though the agency leaves open the possibility it could revoke previous authorizations.
“Our unanimous decision represents the first time in FCC history that we have voted to prohibit the authorization of new equipment based on national security concerns,” tweeted Brendan Carr, a Republican FCC commissioner.
Carr added that as “a result of our order, no new Huawei or ZTE equipment can be approved. And no new Dahua, Hikvision, or Hytera gear can be approved unless they assure the FCC that their gear won’t be used for public safety, security of government facilities, & other national security purposes.”
Hikvision said in a statement that its video products “present no security threat” to the U.S. but the FCC’s decision “will do a great deal to make it more harmful and more expensive for US small businesses, local authorities, school districts, and individual consumers to protect themselves, their homes, businesses and property.”