Malaysia says it will choose 5G partners based on own standards, not US recommendations

Malaysia says it will choose 5G partners based on own standards, not US recommendations
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Malaysia’s communications minister said the country will choose partners for its rollout of 5G based on the country’s own standards and not U.S. recommendations as Washington advises allies around to world to be wary of working with the Chinese firm Huawei. 

“My position is very clear, we have our own safety standards, we have own safety requirements,” minister Gobind Singh Deo told Reuters in an interview Monday. 

“So whoever deals with us, whoever comes up with proposals, we have to be certain and we have to be sure they meet the security standards that we have.”

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The U.S. has been warning allies against using Huawei over concerns that the tech giant is sharing sensitive information with Beijing. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on Attacking the Affordable Care Act in the time of COVID-19 DC argues it is shortchanged by coronavirus relief bill MORE (D-Calif.) cautioned NATO allies Monday against allowing the Chinese tech firm into their cellular network. 

Singh Deo told Reuters that Malaysia is aware of the “concerns that have been expressed around the world” about Huawei, but said Malaysia will use guidance from its own security standards in choosing partners for its 5G rollout plan this year. 

“When you talk about security, be it Huawei or anyone else, you want to be assured that whatever system they propose ... is suitable for you. We do not say we will not deal with one particular company because generally there are security concerns,” he said. 

Singh Deo said consumer access to 5G will likely come online by the end of the year or early 2021. 

He said the Malaysian government was interested in involving as many companies as possible to encourage healthy competition. 

Huawei signed a 5G deal with a Malaysian mobile network as well as preliminary agreements with others, according to Reuters. The country is also looking at other suitors including Finnish company Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson, according to the newswire.