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Huawei could still be in play for 5G in New Zealand and United Kingdom

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New Zealand still hasn’t ruled out Huawei playing a role in its major internet network upgrade if unnamed risks raised by security agencies can be mitigated, with the prime minister saying the country won’t be swayed by Britain’s decision in the matter.

New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GSCB) last year had told telco Spark that gear from China’s Huawei, which was proposed for the rollout of its 5G network, posed an unspecified but “significant network security risk”.

Wellington said at the time that the ban was related to technology concerns rather than fears about Chinese government control, and Spark would have the opportunity to make changes to mitigate security risks.

Spark called the decision disappointing, but said it would not affect its plans to launch 5G by July 1, 2020.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reiterated her government’s position that a process to see if the risks could be mitigated was still ongoing and that no final decision had yet been made.

“That’s exactly the situation we’re in right now,” she told TVNZ.

“The GCSB’s gone back and sought that mitigation. That is independent of us. And I do hold confidence in the process.”

Must read: United States unseals charges against Huawei and its CFO

New Zealand politicians and the GCSB have declined to publicly state what the suspected threat may be or how it may be mitigated.

This week, the Financial Times reported Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre had decided the security risks surrounding Hauwei’s technology were manageable and that the decision could carry signficant sway for other nations.

Ardern said New Zealand would be making its own decision.

“It is fair to say Five Eyes [intelligence network], of course, share information but we make our own independent decisions,” she told reporters.

Last week, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned central European nations that deploying equipment from Huawei “makes it more difficult for America to be present” in those countries.

“We have seen this all around the world; it also makes it more difficult for America to be present,” Pompeo said, after announcing plans for a defence cooperation agreement with Hungary including the purchase of mid-range air defence capabilities.

“If that equipment is collocated where we have important American systems, it makes it more difficult for us to partner alongside them.”

New Zealand policymakers have denied being pressured by Washington.

At the same time last week, CNN had reported BT consumer CEO Marc Allera saying it had seen no evidence of Huawei posing a threat to security.

“Over the years that we’ve worked with Huawei, we’ve not yet seen anything that gives us cause for concern,” Allera reportedly told CNN.

“We work closely with a large number of bodies, government, and security. We continue to work with all of those relevant bodies to answer all the questions that are being asked right now.”

Also: Huawei denies allegations contained in US Department of Justice indictments

This came despite BT in December saying it would strip Huawei equipment from mobile carrier EE’s 3G and 4G core networks and not use the Chinese technology giant for its 5G networks.

The telco at the time said it made the decision in order to bring EE in line with its legacy fixed network, which does not use Huawei technology.

“In 2016, following the acquisition of EE, we began a process to remove Huawei equipment from the core of our 3G and 4G networks, as part of network architecture principles in place since 2006,” a BT spokesperson said.

“As a result, Huawei have not been included in vendor selection for our 5G core.”

Huawei agreed that the decision was “a normal and expected activity, which we understand and fully support”, despite EE extending its 5G partnership with Huawei back in February 2018.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported Huawei saying it would take three to five years and a $2 billion investment to resolve the security issues found in a British report last year.

Australian banned Huawei from 5G deployments in August last year, citing national security issues stemming from concerns of foreign government interference in critical communications infrastructure.

Read: Huawei sacks employee arrested in Poland as Warsaw mulls EU ban

Huawei has repeatedly denied posing a risk, with its founder Ren Zhengfei saying in January his company would rather shut down than damage the interests of customers for its own gain.

“We will never do anything to harm the interests of our customers,” Ren said at the time.

The Huawei founder also reiterated the company’s line, from as far back as 2013, that it has never received a request from government to spy, and added that should a request be denied, it will be up to Beijing to litigate against the company.

“We will certainly say no to any such request,” Ren said.

“After writing this quote in your story, maybe 20 or 30 years down the road, if I am still alive, people will consider this quote and check my behaviour against it, as well as the behaviour of our company.”

With AAP

Related Coverage

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Huawei CFO cannot be trusted: Prosecutors

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2022 BMW M8 Competition range revealed with bigger screens and better lights

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German automaker BMW has updated its 2022 M8 Competition sport-luxury car. You can still get an M8 Competition in three body styles (2-door Coupe, 2-door Cabriolet, and 4-door Gran Coupe), sharing the same 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

Images: BMW AG
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Tesla Cybertruck delayed again plus Elon Musk squashes $25k EV rumors

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Tesla closed out 2021 with a bumper year, besting Q4 estimates and pushing EV deliveries past 300,000, though Elon Musk tempered hopes for the arrival of the Cybertruck and more affordable models. Revenue in the year as a whole grew 71%, Tesla announced, describing 2021 as “a breakthrough year” for the automaker, but some of the most anticipated electric vehicles are still some way out.

Tesla

No Tesla Cybertruck until 2023

The most conspicuous project that Tesla has underway is undoubtedly the Cybertruck. The oddly-shaped all-electric pickup proved controversial when Elon Musk first revealed it, and glimpses of development prototypes in the intervening years haven’t dimmed its ability to polarize opinion. Undoubtedly the most frequently-asked question, however, is when Tesla actually might put the Cybertruck into production.

Tesla

Tesla’s investor deck continues with the same, vague timeline as has been stated in previous releases. “We are making progress on the industrialization of Cybertruck, which is currently planned for Austin production subsequent to Model Y,” the automaker says.

Speaking on the investor call, however, Musk confirmed that the Cybertruck wouldn’t go into production this year. The primary focus for Tesla, the CEO explained, would be ramping production of its existing models, like the popular Model 3 and Model Y. They’re still in strong demand, with orders for some configurations of Model Y not expected to be delivered until August 2022.

Tesla Cybertruck pricing

Tesla screenshot by SlashGear

For the Cybertruck, there are still technological hurdles to be worked through, Musk admitted. The automaker is also still trying to figure out how to make it affordable: there was widespread surprise when Tesla announced the full-size electric pickup would have a starting price of around $40,000 when it began taking reservations in late 2019. For the moment, Musk said, the hope is that production can begin sometime in 2023.

Don’t expect the Tesla Roadster any time soon, either

What goes for the Cybertruck, also goes for Tesla’s rebooted Roadster. Also the spur of no shortage of reservation deposits – or the full $250,000 apiece in advance for those wanting one of the first 1,000 “Founder’s Series” cars – the Roadster was originally intended to go into production in mid to late 2021. That was delayed to 2022, and then to 2023.

Tesla Roadster

Tesla

The good news is that it’s still, apparently, on track for that timescale, though as Tesla feels the impact of the supply chain issues affecting the whole auto industry that could still change in the meantime. Chip constraints were name-checked by Musk as being a primary bottleneck for 2021 production of its cars, arguing that if Tesla tried to introduce new models in 2022 it would only have the overall impact of cutting total production output. The need to assign resources to new models would take away from the ability to build cars like the Model 3 and Model Y, he pointed out.

Engineering and tooling-up for the upcoming Tesla models may still begin in 2022. However they won’t go into production until 2023 at the earliest.

The $25,000 Tesla isn’t happening

Tesla line-up

Tesla

Though Tesla hasn’t been affected by the “market adjustments” that have seen dealers of other brands add thousands or even tens of thousands to the sticker price of a new car, it’s clear that the EV-maker is still focused on the trims with the biggest profit margins. Despite previous chatter of a $25,000 Tesla that could undercut even the most affordable Model 3, Musk says that’s simply not on the cards.

“We have too much on our plate,” the CEO said during the investor call.

The reality is, while Tesla has been surprisingly well placed for dealing with the supply chain crunch – including making admirable use of existing chip supplies by reprogramming its software to suit – like most car companies it can’t build as many as it would like to. Focusing on maximizing the return on each vehicle is the inevitable result, not only by prioritizing the more expensive configurations, but on post-sale software enhancements too. Indeed, “over time, we expect our hardware-related profits to be accompanied with an acceleration of software-related profits,” the investor deck points out.

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This carbon 3D-printed Rolls-Royce Cullinan is a $500,000 upgrade

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The Cullinan is the Rolls-Royce of SUVs, so what does this make 1016 Industries’ carbon-fiber, 3D-printed Cullinan? You can call it anything you like, but it is indeed a dignified way to go sporty. We highly prefer it over the quirky Mansory Rolls-Royce Cullinan unveiled last year for the 50th founding anniversary of the United Arab Emirates, and it’s all thanks to the crafty use of 3D printing for the details.

Images: 1016 Industries
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