UK telcos warned not to use ZTE network equipment

The National Cybersecurity Center of the United Kingdom (NCSC) has written to UK telecommunications companies warning them that using network equipment manufactured by the Chinese firm ZTE would negatively affect UK national security.

The letter, seen by the FT, said that "the use of ZTE equipment or services within the existing telecommunications infrastructure would represent a risk to the national security of the United Kingdom that could not be effectively or practically mitigated".

NCSC's main concern is that the Chinese state has a significant influence on companies and individuals.

ZTE network security

The team of the Chinese firm Huawei (together with Nokia and Ericsson) is widely used in the United Kingdom, but GCHQ has a special team to monitor its use and ensure there is no interference of the state. The use of ZTE equipment would make this impossible, the NCSC argued.

The NCSC has confirmed the existence of the letter, arguing that it considered the technical advice before sending it.

"It is entirely appropriate and part of NCSC's duty to highlight the potential risks to UK national security and provide advice based on our technical expertise," said Ian Levy, Technical Director of NCSC. "NCSC assesses that national security risks arising from the use of ZTE equipment or services within the context of the existing telecommunications infrastructure in the United Kingdom can not be mitigated."

EE. UU It has already prevented Huawei and ZTE from selling their products to US telecommunications companies. UU for reasons of national security, although it blocked a proposed acquisition of Qualcomm by rival Broadcom due to concerns, it would give Huawei a 5G advantage.

In a separate development, the United States has just banned ZTE from using a US supplier for seven years for violating the terms of a sanctions violation case.

ZTE has a limited presence in the United Kingdom, most notably a research and development agreement with BT.

TechRadar Pro has approached ZTE for comments.