By Chris Donkin
FCC chief says 5G security message resonates abroad
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai argued US operators’ ability to launch 5G using equipment supplied exclusively by approved vendors proves other countries do not need to sacrifice security to achieve strong next generation networks.
During the opening keynote, Pai said messages on 5G security had been “very well received” during his frequent visits abroad to promote the country’s stance on the issue.
These trips have come alongside a to ban use of equipment from vendors it deems a security risk, most notably Huawei.
“We are not going in and demanding anyone shares our view. In many cases we found that view has been shared and [authorities overseas] are looking forward to working with us, especially some of our closest security partners.”
He noted the fact 5G networks are likely to be largely software defined will offer a “broader attack surface” with a need to “make sure we mitigate the risks on that surface as much as possible”.
“Sometimes the conversation presents a false dichotomy that you have to either choose security or you have to choose leadership in 5G, and the argument I use as a counterpoint is look at the US experience,” Pai added, noting domestic deployments only use equipment from “trusted vendors”.
He continued: “We think we can hit the sweet spot of both security and deployment, and that’s a message that’s resonated largely around the world as other countries have looked to piggy back on that successful model.”