Remarks at Press Availability

Remarks
Ambassador Robert L. Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy
MWC Barcelona (Formerly Mobile World Congress)
Barcelona, Spain
February 26, 2019


The security of information and communications technology networks and services is critical to the national security and prosperity of all nations. These networks and services are attractive targets for foreign adversaries and other bad actors. The United States wants to ensure that we and our partners and allies maintain secure and reliable communications networks and supply chains to reduce the risks of unauthorized access and malicious cyber activity. With the broad number of critical applications and billions of new devices that will be enabled by 5G infrastructure, security will only become even more important. The global nature of data flows means that threats to U.S. networks have a direct bearing on the security of our allies, just as threats to our allies’ networks have a direct bearing on the security of the United States.

To this end, the United States is asking other governments and the private sector to consider the threat posed by Huawei and other Chinese information technology companies. Chinese law requires these firms to support and assist Beijing’s vast security apparatus, without any democratic checks and balances on access to, or use of, data that touches the networks or equipment installed and supported by these companies around the world. America is calling on all our security partners to be vigilant and avoid vendors that could compromise the integrity of global communications technology, the privacy and liberty of our citizens, and the security of our critical infrastructure and national security systems. Decisions about infrastructure for 5G will have long-term implications and should not be rushed into.

Relying on equipment from trusted vendors will not come at the expense of speed of deployment or technological advancement. The United States and likeminded countries have companies that provide world-leading technological solutions in hardware and software across the many use cases for 5G.

The United States is moving quickly to ensure that American consumers reap the substantial benefits that will come from the next generation of mobile connectivity by making more spectrum available for 5G, by promoting the deployment of wireless infrastructure, and by modernizing our regulations. A recent Cisco report projects that in 2022, almost 10 percent of wireless connections in North America will be based on 5G, which is more than twice the projected rate for Asia. Cisco credits this to the U.S. Government's policy decisions.