As international warnings come out about the Chinese communications technology company Huawei, SaskTel says it’s confident in its network security.
Security experts have warned most recently that Huawei could be used as a spy agency after a rule was changed in China last year
In defending itself, Huawei has said it’s not a state-controlled company.
SaskTel has had several partnerships with Huawei; its 4G/LTE network uses the company’s components for its radio access network. It also uses Huawei customer premise equipment in its fusion rural internet program.
In 2016 SaskTel also partnered with Huawei in a project at the University of Regina; the project aimed to improve the school’s network by using LTE network products from Huawei.
SaskTel said Huawei products are not used in its core network and aren’t used in any of its networks end-to-end.
When asked about the security concerns popping up again, SaskTel said in an emailed statement that it “takes network security very seriously and we work with other national carriers that use Huawei equipment to ensure security concerns are addressed.
“SaskTel is confident that it manages security appropriately through internal use of security best practices and externally with all its network suppliers, which includes Huawei and other global suppliers.”
Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. have banned Huawei from the development of their 5G networks; Canada and the U.K. have not.
The five countries collectively make up the Five Eyes intelligence community.
There is a lot of talk about Canada joining in on the ban at Parliament Hill.
SaskTel said it hasn’t started deployment trials on its 5G network, so it would be too early to say which vendors will be used.