Taiwan may ban use of China-made 4G BTSs

Dylan Bushell-Embling
06 May 2014

Taiwanese telecom regulator NCC has announced it will consult with national security agencies to determine whether the nation's operators can use 4G base stations sourced from Chinese vendors.

One of the six winners of Taiwan's recent $4 billion LTE auction, Ambit Microsystems, recently revealed plans to use Huawei base stations for its rollout. In response, the NCC will ask national security agencies to determine whether this is permissible, the Taipei Timesreported.

The National Security Bureau currently prohibits operators from using Chinese core telecom equipment, but Ambit Microsystems has argued that this does not include base stations, mobile phones or network interface cards.

In a statement, the NCC said Chinese vendors are not the only suppliers of 4G base stations, so prohibiting the use of Chinese gear would not delay the operators' LTE rollouts.

Because NCC has no control over national security issues, it will require security agencies to make the decision over whether Chinese equipment can be used.

According to the NCC, Taiwan's Transportation Committee recently passed a resolution requiring the regulator to completely prohibit the use of Chinese telecom gear by 4G operators.

Huawei has been hit with government bans or opposition based on supposed national security concerns in the US, as well as India (briefly), Australia and South Korea. Now Taiwan may follow suit.

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