Telecom operators need to trust their vendors even more than before, says Ericsson APAC CTO in the backdrop of 5G field trials
Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson said that telecom operators have a much larger responsibility to safeguard their networks from cyber-attacks and they need to trust their vendors even more than before.
“I think absolutely an operator has a much larger responsibility…for example if they subcontract somebody to provide a backhaul line, they have to ensure that they are up to grips and do their part of it,” Magnus Ewebring, Chief Technology Officer (Asia-Pacific) for Sweden’s Ericsson told ET.
The remarks come in the backdrop of Indian telecom operators seeking clarity over the participation of Chinese gear maker Huawei in 5G field trials and permitting its equipment in their 5G networks. The Indian government has already conveyed that it will not compromise on the security of its telecom networks and accords high priority to data sovereignty.
The US has been pressuring India to ban Huawei from the 5G development and deployment, citing concerns around cyberspying owing to the company’s alleged proximity to the Chinese government. China, in turn, has also warned about impact on its ties with India if such a ban were to be imposed.
By focusing on security, telecom operators in India can translate this into a business opportunity. “I think for operators to go forward, trust is something that operators can sell to their customers. This is an opportunity for telcos,” Ewebring said.
“It is like you do with your money. You put it in a bank. There’s a lot of trust when you choose a bank,” he said, adding that in the future enterprise users may choose a certain operator who they think can manage the complexity of security reliability and trust.
“In that game, we want to be very much supplying our operators with products and way of working and to harden and make sure and monitor that it is a good network,” he said.
Security, as per Ewebring, can be divided into many groups such as network resilience, standardization, and communication security.
Telcos should be resilient to network disruption caused by attacks, and to ensure how soon they can recover. “…in the telecom industry, we have good experience of it. Part of it is standardized, part of it is how we at Ericsson make our products and part of it are how we deploy it together with our customers,” Ewebring said.