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The Huawei case is like a war in Iraq. There is no evidence, but losses can be extensive

The Huawei case is like a war in Iraq. There is no evidence, but losses can be extensive
Poland is faced with the challenge of building a 5G network Fot. Shutterstock
  • Autor: Paweł Szygulski
  • Dodano: 27-03-2019 11:15

Not only Chinese companies produce electronic equipment in China - points out Borys Stokalski, president of the Polish Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications in an interview with WNP.PL. In his opinion, in the Huawei case, it is necessary to act cautiously, especially that Poland needs to undertake an ambitious task of building a 5G network. We will have to face a lot of difficulties in demand.

  • Borys Stokalski warns that the threat from Huawei may be just as real as chemical weapons that Americans sought years ago in Iraq.
  • The PIIT president believes that uncertainty regarding the demand and lack of an appropriate certification system makes it difficult to build a 5G network in Poland.
  • Borys Stokalski argues that it is necessary to remodel the scheme of support for innovative companies, so that they could support their activities primarily from the sale of products.


There has been a lot of talk recently, not only in Poland, about Huawei's telecommunications equipment. Are the concerns justified?

-      In this case, one must call for rationality. I am not saying this merely because Huawei is a member of the Polish Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications, but also because more universal considerations are important.

I do not want to underestimate cyberthreats - this topic is more important than ever.  However, I find it difficult to avoid associations with the history of chemical weapons in Iraq. The Americans claimed that Iraq possessed chemical weapons and something had to be done about it. A war broke out, the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was overthrown, but they did not find any chemical weapons.

It would be harmful to the development of the market if Huaweia's equipment turned out to be such a chemical weapon. It would be better if there was no “war” in which we remove the equipment of a competitive provider from the market, only to realize that it was not more vulnerable to fraud and cyberthreats than devices provided by other companies.

So what should we do?

-      The problem today is a certain lack of transparency on the decision making process. As far as I know, no one has published any specific data that would indicate the risks associated with Huawei equipment, and yet we are still confused. We do not know the assessment criteria that could be used as the basis for the certification process of new generations of networks. Whatever decisions are to be made in the future, it should be ensured that the processes that precede them are as transparent as possible.




We should note that not only Chinese companies produce electronic equipment in China. Therefore, we need a transparent process based on standardization that would indicate real threats and risk areas. The point is that it should concern not only companies from China, but manufacturers of telecommunications equipment in general.

Do you mean that, for example, the European Union could establish specific security requirements, and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment would be responsible for proving that these requirements are fulfilled?

-      Yes, the idea is that the manufacturer provides indicated laboratories with test equipment. A well-designed certification process will allow manufacturers to adapt to clearly defined requirements and use them to raise the level of security.

The Huawei case is closely related to the implementation of 5G technology. What is lacking to start building such a network in Poland?

-      We often discuss barriers in the investment process, frequency availability or the need to change PEM standards (electromagnetic field - ed.). I would add two key issues that are not discussed as often. The first is the risk in demand, and the second is the lack of a certification system.
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