FINNISH NETWORK OUTFIT Nokia has moved quick to disown comments made by its CTO about the risks posed by Huawei's 5G equipment.
During an interview with the BBC on Thursday, Nokia - one of Huawei's biggest rivals in the telecoms equipment space, along with Ericsson - cautioned that the Chinese firm's kit has vulnerabilities that meant it posed a risk to Blighty's 5G networks.
The firm's chief technology officer Marcus Weldon warned: "That means being wary of adding Chinese vendors into network infrastructure, as long as these security vulnerabilities are either provably there or likely to be there based on past practices."
Wheldon, referring to recent research from Finite State which saw it uncover back doors in more than 55 per cent of Huawei devices, added: "We read those reports and we think okay, we're doing a much better job than they are.
"Some of it seems to be just sloppiness, honestly, that they haven't patched things, they haven't upgraded. But some of it is real obfuscation, where they make it look like they have the secure version when they don't."
He went on to note that pressure from the US for allies to ditch Huawei equipment served as a counterbalance to the unfair financial advantages that Huawei had enjoyed in the past.
"It's fairness returning to the market," he spouted to the Beeb. "We were disadvantaged in the past relative to the practices that the Chinese were allowed to have in terms of funding mechanisms."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nokia on Friday came out to debunk Wheldon's remarks, noting that his comments "do not reflect the official position of Nokia.
"Nokia is focused on the integrity of its own products and services and does not have its own assessment of any potential vulnerabilities associated with its competitors," the company said in its rushed-out statement.
Huawei has also spoken out about the report, slamming Wheldon's comments as "misleading".
"We believe secure, resilient networks can only be delivered by collaboration across the whole industry, working to common standards on privacy protection and cyber-security, so that all participants can be judged equally," a spokesperson said.
"We have a proven track record of delivering secure, trustworthy and high-quality products to every major telecoms operator in Europe. Cyber-security remains Huawei's top priority and here, in the UK, we are subject to the most rigorous oversight compared to any competitors in our sector." µ
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