S. Korean mobile carrier LGU+ hints at using Huawei's 5G equipment

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-10-26 18:35 Updated : 2018-10-26 18:35
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- LG U+, a mobile carrier involved in the establishment of an ultra-fast mobile network in South Korea., hinted at selecting Chinese telecom giant Huawei as the possible supplier of fifth-generation (5G) equipment.

There has been a negative campaign especially in the United States against Huawei, but the Chinese company completed the certification of conformity for sales of related equipment in South Korea on October 4.

"I judge it so," LG U+ vice chairman Ha Hyun-hwoi testified in parliament on Friday when asked by a lawmaker if the company is willing to use Huawei's 5G equipment. LGU+ was the only South Korean company which has introduced Huawei's LTE network equipment in 2013.

Under a strong government initiative, South Korean firms are trying hard to commercialize a 5G mobile network ahead of other countries. Business ties have been forged between South Korean and foreign firms mainly from the United States and Europe.

SK Telecom selected Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung Electronics as 5G equipment suppliers. Base stations and exchange equipment will be supplied. Huawei was on the shortlist, but it was excluded at the final stage.

"We will call an external expert to create a system that allows us to inspect the source code, and with the help of an international verification body, we will try to address concerns," Ha said.

The 5G network is vital for the telecom renaissance to be brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, U.S. state bodies have accused Huawei of setting up a backdoor in its equipment. There has been no evidence or case to support such claims.

"The most serious problem is security concerns that Huawei can hack through a backdoor," Lee Wang-hwi, a professor at Aju University Graduate School's Department of Political Science and Diplomacy, said earlier. 

However, he warned that there could be a boomerang if South Korea maintains technological nationalism.