Growing international concerns over the security of Huawei 5G networking gear have created a “dilemma” for South Korean mobile carriers, The Korea Times reports today. As the carriers prepare for a national auction of 5G radio spectrum, they must choose between more affordable Huawei network hardware and higher-priced but apparently more secure rival 5G gear.
According to the report, major carriers SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus are all on the cusp of selecting their 5G network equipment suppliers, as Korea will allocate 5G radio spectrum in June. Although the carriers have requested equipment proposals from Huawei, Samsung, Nokia, and Ericsson, lobbying by U.S. officials has influenced the Korean carriers to consider bypassing Huawei.
“If Huawei’s equipment is introduced,” said Korean minister of science and ICT Yoo Young-Min, “there is the possibility that various security problems become an issue.” That concern was previously voiced by SK Telecom’s CEO Dong-Hyun Jang at the 2018 Mobile World Congress.