Canada bans Huawei and ZTE from 5G network

The decision has been in the works for years

The federal government has banned Huawei and ZTE from Canada’s 5G network.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and François-Philippe Champagne, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada, made the announcement Thursday.

“Today we’re announcing our intention to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada’s telecommunication systems,” Champagne said.

The move sees Canada following the footsteps of its allies in the Five Eyes intelligence network. The alliance includes Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. Each of these countries have restricted the use of Huawei equipment.

Mendicino said the government will introduce new legislation that will establish a framework to help the government protect national security and respond to cyber threats.

The decision has been in the works for years, prompting some companies to move ahead with their 5G networks without Huawei. For example, Telus and Bell are working with Nokia and Ericsson to build their 5G networks. Rogers is working with Ericsson.

Asked about the time it took to make this decision, Champagne said “this was never a race.”

“This is about making the right decision. This is about providing a framework to protect our infrastructure.”

Champagne said providers who have Huawei equipment installed as part of their systems will be required to remove it. The companies won’t be compensated.

Telus and Bell have previously asked the federal government to compensate them to remove Huawei equipment utilized in their 4G networks.

A detailed timeline explaining how Canada got to this point is available here.

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