Tag Archives: 5G

Security of 5G networks: EU Member States complete national risk assessments

Following the Commission Recommendation for a common European approach to the security of 5G networks, 24 EU Member States have now completed the first step and submitted national risk assessments. These assessments will feed into the next phase, a EU-wide risk assessment which will be completed by 1 October. Commissioner for the Security Union, Julian King, and Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, welcomed this important step forward and said:

“We are pleased to see that most Member States have now submitted their risk assessments. Following the support expressed by the European Council on 22 March for a concerted approach, Member States responded promptly to our call for concrete measures to help ensure the cybersecurity of 5G networks across the EU. The national risk assessments are essential to make sure that Member States are adequately prepared for the deployment of the next generation of wireless connectivity that will soon form the backbone of our societies and economies.

We urge Member States to remain committed to the concerted approach and to use this important step to gain momentum for a swift and secure rollout of 5G networks. Close EU-wide cooperation is essential both for achieving strong cybersecurity and for reaping the full benefits, which 5G will have to offer for people and businesses.

The completion of the risk assessments underlines the commitment of Member States not only to set high standards for security but also to make full use of this groundbreaking technology. We hope that the outcomes will be taken into account in the process of 5G spectrum auctions and network deployment, which is taking place across the EU now and in the coming months. Several Member States have already taken steps to reinforce applicable security requirements while others are considering introducing new measures in the near future.

We need all key players, big and small, to accelerate their efforts and join us in building a common framework aimed at ensuring consistently high levels of security. We look forward to continuing our close cooperation with Member States as we begin the work on an EU-wide risk assessment, due to be complete by 1 October, that will help to develop a European approach to protecting the integrity of 5G.”

National risk assessments include an overview of:

·    the main threats and actors affecting 5G networks;

·    the degree of sensitivity of 5G network components and functions as well as other assets; and

·    various types of vulnerabilities, including both technical ones and other types of vulnerabilities, such as those potentially arising from the 5G supply chain.

In addition, the work on national risk assessments involved a range of responsible actors in the Member States, including cybersecurity and telecommunication authorities and security and intelligence services, strengthening their cooperation and coordination.

Next Steps

Based on the information received, Member States, together with the Commission and the EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), will prepare a coordinated EU-wide risk assessment by 1 October 2019. In parallel, ENISA is analysing the 5G threat landscape as an additional input. 

By 31 December 2019, the NIS Cooperation Group that leads the cooperation efforts together with the Commission will develop and agree on a toolbox of mitigating measures to address the risks identified in the risk assessments at Member State and EU level.

Following the recent entry into force of the Cybersecurity Act at the end of June, the Commission and the EU Agency for Cybersecurity will set up an EU-wide certification framework. Member States are encouraged to cooperate with the Commission and the EU Agency for Cybersecurity to prioritise a certification scheme covering 5G networks and equipment.

By 1 October 2020, Member States should assess in cooperation with the Commission, the effects of measures taken to determine whether there is a need for further action. This assessment should take into account the coordinated European risk assessment.

Background

Fifth generation (5G) networks will form essential digital infrastructure in the future, connecting billions of objects and systems, including in critical sectors such as energy, transport, banking, and health, as well as industrial control systems carrying sensitive information and supporting safety systems.

The European Commission recommended on 26 March 2019 a set of concrete actions to assess cybersecurity risks of 5G networks and to strengthen preventive measures, following the support from Heads of State or Government for a concerted approach to the security of 5G networks.

The Commission called on Member States to complete national risk assessments and review national measures as well as to work together at EU level on a coordinated risk assessment and a common toolbox of mitigating measures.

EU new study to support 5G roll-out

Ahead of tomorrow’s Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council that will concentrate on most pertinent Digital Single Market issues, the Commission published today the latest study on spectrum assignments that will support the EU’s work towards successful 5G deployment.

The results affirm that licence duration and auction prices influence investments in better network coverage. For example, there is a tendency for higher investment levels in countries that have awarded longer licences. There is additionally evidence that high spectrum prices can be associated with lower 4G availability. These findings will provide supplementary input to the ongoing negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council on the Commission’s proposal for new EU telecoms rules – the European Electronic Communications CodeTomorrow’s Council meeting in Luxembourg aims to accelerate progress on the Digital Single Market legislative files, in particular on spectrum and 5G deployment. Additionally, the Ministers hold a follow-up debate on cybersecurity following the European Council conclusions, the Tallinn Digital Summit and the Commission’s proposals to scale up the EU’s response to cyber-attacks. For the Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, Commissioner Julian King in charge of Security Union, as well as Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel will participate. The European Electronic Communications Code is crucial for creating the Digital Single Market, as it will boost investments in high-speed and quality networks. It provides the necessary basis for the 5G roll-out at the same time all across the EU. Read more about the topic in the proposal from 2016. Further details on the spectrum assignments study can be found here. Spectrum factsheet will be available soon here. Overview factsheets on the Digital Single Market can be found here: state of playtimelinecybersecurity.

EU plan new telecoms rules

“Our future is digital, and these rules are key to creating a gigabit society throughout the EU,” said Urve Palo, Estonia’s Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.

The Council granted the Estonian presidency a general mandate to begin negotiations with the European Parliament on new rules for the electronic communications sector that will prepare Europe for the era of 5G by promoting investment, competition, consumer protection and the development of new services.

 “I am pleased that the Estonian presidency has obtained this first mandate earlier than we expected. We will now make every effort to achieve solid progress in talks with the Parliament by the end of the year. The unanimous support for our proposal shows the Council’s commitment to deliver on the digital single market.” Explained the Estonia’s Minister.

Boosting investment is necessary to ensure that the EU is able to meet the ever-growing demand for gigabit connectivity, which is a vital part of the digital revolution.

The minister added that work on this file reflects the importance the Estonian presidency attaches to connectivity and 5G. “In July, my colleagues and I signed the declaration on the adoption of 5G. At the Tallinn Digital Summit, European leaders also discussed how to promote 5G and connectivity. These steps will be reflected in the meetings of the European Council and the Telecoms Council later this month.”

The proposed rules, the European Electronic Communications Code, cover a wide range of areas, from consumer rights to operators’ access to networks and member states’ cooperation on spectrum management. The overhaul is intended to reflect changes in the market since the introduction of the current rules in 2009, and will provide a future-proof framework for a swift and extensive roll-out of 5G and other new generation technologies. These new technologies will facilitate the introduction and expansion of innovative digital services such as connected and autonomous cars, smart cities and smart energy grids.

The Council mandate widens the scope of electronic communications services to take account of the growing importance of services provided over the internet (also known as ‘over-the-top services’, or ‘OTT’), which includes VoIP, messaging apps and email. This is a major change compared to the current rules, which cover only traditional services that are linked to a specific number, such as text messages and landline and mobile calls. Certain characteristics of the service, such as whether the user pays for the service, will determine which rules will apply. In addition, the mandate includes a review mechanism to ensure that end-user rights remain up to date in view of the quick pace of change in business models and consumer behaviour.

The mandate provides for increased cooperation among member states to make radio spectrum available to operators in a timely and predictable manner. However, the Council text acknowledges that the best way to use spectrum varies across the EU, for a number of reasons, including physical geography, population distribution, market conditions and borders with non-EU countries. It also takes into account the fact that member states may need flexibility to react to technological and market changes in their management of spectrum.

The Council’s position updates current rules on operators’ access to networks to encourage competition and make it easier for companies to invest in new infrastructure, including in more remote areas. The mandate allows authorities to reduce the level of regulation to some extent where markets are competitive but introduces safeguards where these are necessary to ensure that the effective regulation of the market is not undermined.

The Council retains the core regulatory approach based on ‘significant market power’ (SMP), which has proved its value over the years in opening up markets to new entrants. However, as market players are becoming increasingly complex, SMP regulation alone is not enough to ensure competition in all cases. SMP rules will therefore be complemented with symmetric regulation of all providers of electronic communications networks in certain situations. In addition, the Council mandate introduces some additional tools to allow national regulatory authorities to address issues that may arise in certain market circumstances, such as duopolistic situations.

The mandate was granted by member states’ ambassadors at a meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper I).

An initial exploratory ‘trilogue’ meeting with the European Parliament is expected to take place by the end of October, if the Parliament confirms at its next plenary session that this is possible.

Digital Europe: opportunities for industry; conditions for the gigabit society

Digitising European industry requires safeguards against a divided society and more legal certainty, whilst an EU spectrum strategy should boost 5G technology.

Access to telecommunications should be equal across the EU, whilst avoiding an unequal digital development in industries such as transport and tourism, MEPs say in a resolution voted on Thursday. Artificial intelligence and robotics demand clear rules on safety and liability.

Schools need to teach digital skills in order to close the “digital divide” and ensure a smooth transition to a smart economy. Public authorities must include cybersecurity requirements in public procurement.

Seizing the opportunities of 5G

To avoid the delays experienced during the rollout of 4G, member states need to work better together on the spectrum strategy, said MEPs in a separate non-legislative resolution, also voted on Thursday.

China and the EU to engage in strategic cooperation to pull 5G development #telecom #5G

5G

While the fourth generation of mobile technology –LTE– is still deployed, the Mobile World Congress discusses already its future successor: 5G. However, the new technology will only be successful if genuinely global. ChinaEU, the business-led association promoting Information and Communications Technology cooperation between Europe and China, therefore calls upon the two sides to start as soon as possible a strategic collaboration on 5G. The forthcoming China-EU Summit, to be held this June in Brussels, will provide a unique opportunity for the two regions to officially launch cooperation in this revolutionary area, giving it an important political boost.

Both China and Europe recognize the importance of timely developing the next generation of mobile communication networks. Great resources are been invested in the development of this new technology and in exploring its many applications in fields as diverse as smart cities, smart energy, urban traffic, manufacturing, health care, etc. Differently from the upgrade from 3G to 4G, the shift toward the use of 5G –approximately one thousand times faster than 4G– will be a revolution, allowing for much faster speeds today unthinkable and accelerating the deployment of the Next Generation fiber optics networks as well.

Xiao Ming, Vice President of ZTE Global and President of ZTE Europe, said: “The new communications infrastructure will be the backbone of the future digital economy, creating more and better jobs and contributing to a sustainable economic growth for the mutual benefit of Chinese and European societies. We should enhance cooperation between China and Europe in the field of future generation of communication networks fostering global consensus on the definition of 5G, developing common interest in research activities, harmonizing radio spectrum policy to ensure global interoperability and preparing global standardization for 5G.

A cooperation between Europe and China on 5G will open the door to both the Chinese and the European industry to the biggest and richest markets in the world respectively and create the conditions to invest more in European and Chinese digital economies”, said Luigi Gambardella, President of ChinaEU. “We see great interest from both sides to enhance cooperation in Internet, telecom and high tech segments. ChinaEU has the target to support the process of 5G standardization and radio spectrum harmonization by putting together the political institutions and the main manufacturers of both regions to achieve this common objective.

China and the EU could leverage their unique technological and market strengths collaboratively to establish a major strategic presence in the future 5G mobile markets globally. China is the leading manufacturer of mobile equipment and network infrastructure today and the collaboration with European institutions and manufacturers can bring a faster development of this new technology and allow the implementation of new common projects to deploy it in both regions. According to GSMA, the global trade group of mobile network operators,in 2013 Europe was home to 428M unique mobile subscribers, accounting for a penetration rate of 78%. SIM connections totaled 689M (126% penetration). China, on the other side, boasted 630M unique mobile subscribers (46% of the total population), actively using more than 1bn SIM connections (90% penetration based on connections). Together, mobile subscribers in Europe and China exceed 1bn people, whereas the combined industry reports almost 1.7bn SIM connections. These numbers reveal the gigantic scale of an integrated EU-China mobile Internet market and the consequently huge potential that can derive from cooperation between the two economies.

ChinaEU believes that Europe and China should make progress in the following areas:

  • Strive to reach a global consensus on the broad definition, the key functionalities and a target timetable for 5G.
  • Work together in cooperating and implementing joint research actions in the field of 5G, including finding global standards for 5G, in line with ongoing standardization in relevant fora.
  • Cooperate to facilitate the identification of globally harmonized radio frequency band to meet the additional spectrum requirements for 5G, reinforcing cooperation in the context of ITU and World Radio Conference (WRC).

According to ChinaEU, there is general consensus that this extraordinary cooperation could represent the first step for a sustained initiative pointing to a win-win outcome in EU-China bilateral relations. A guiding aim is to focus on the common interests of Chinese and European businesses, rather than on past differences. The upcoming China-EU Summit, which this year coincides with the 40th anniversary of official diplomatic relations, can be a showcase for unprecedented industrial cooperation across new digital sectors.

ChinaEU is a business-led international association aimed at intensifying joint research and business cooperation between China and Europe and fostering mutual investments in Internet, Telecom and Hi-tech sectors. ChinaEU provides a platform for constructive dialogue among industry leaders and top-level representatives of European Institutions and the Chinese Government.