Romania approves law to bar Huawei from 5G networks

16 Apr 2021

Romania’s government approved a US-backed bill on 15 April that effectively bars China and Huawei from the country’s 5G networks on security grounds, reports local publication Economica. Under the new law, communications providers will only be able to use 5G network equipment and software from suppliers pre-approved by decision of the Prime Minister, based on an assessment by the Supreme Council of National Defence (CSAT). This decision will reflect Romania’s obligations to the EU and strategic partners, in order to counteract and eliminate threats to national security stipulated in the 5G memorandum signed with the US in 2019.

Every manufacturer of 5G equipment and software will be required to submit a request for authorisation providing information about the identity of the applicant, details about its shareholding structure and parent company, and a declaration affirming it is not controlled by a foreign government, has a transparent shareholding structure, has no known history of unethical corporate conduct, and is subject to a legal system that requires transparent corporate practices. The CSAT’s assent will be granted within four months from the date of application and be based on the submitted documents, as well as ‘an assessment of the risks, threats and vulnerabilities to national security and the country’s defence,’ the law states.

Romania’s leading mobile operators – Orange, Vodafone, Telekom Romania Mobile Communications and DIGI –currently use network equipment supplied by Huawei and ZTE as well as Nokia and Ericsson. Should the Chinese companies fail to receive approval, the telcos will be required to remove, within five years of the entry into force of the law, any technology, equipment and software which contribute to the provision of 5G services. Failure to do so will result in a fine of between 1% and 5% of annual revenue.