Canada has followed the rest of its Five Eyes allies in banning equipment from Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE being used in 4G and 5G networks.
“The Government of Canada is announcing today that it intends to prohibit Canadian telecommunications service providers from deploying Huawei and ZTE products and services in their 5G networks,” the Canadian government said in a statement this week.
Canada has already excluded Huawei and ZTE from sensitive areas of Canadian 3G/4G and LTE networks, and the government said it will introduce introduce amendments to the Telecommunications Act stating the use of new 5G equipment and managed services from Huawei and ZTE will be prohibited and existing 5G equipment and managed services must be removed or terminated by June 28, 2024.
Likewise, any use of new 4G equipment and managed services from Huawei and ZTE will be prohibited and any existing 4G equipment and managed services must be removed or terminated by December 31, 2027.
“We’ve been expecting this for three years,” Alykhan Velshi, Huawei’s vice-president of corporate affairs for the Americas, told CBC. “We’re disappointed by the outcome, but what the government announced is the intent to introduce legislation, but right now there is no prohibition on the book for selling Huawei equipment.”
The other four members of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance – the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand – have all previously introduced similar bans and are undergoing rip and replace initiatives to swap out the equipment in question.
Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told reporters companies would would not be reimbursed for replacing equipment from the Chinese venders.
Conservative Party MP Micheal Chong who tweeted “It shouldn't have taken more than 3 years for the Trudeau government to ban Huawei. David Vigneault, director of CSIS, publicly warned the government about the threat from Huawei in early December 2018.”
In 2020 Bell and Telus both announced that they would not be continuing the use of Huawei equipment in their 5G networks going forward. Bell said it was moving to Ericsson, while Telus said it would go with a combination of Ericsson and Nokia.