Government promotes reduction of fees in 5G and network security

Each operator is investing in its infrastructure, which sometimes overlap, leading to waste, says the minister, and so the strategy in the future is to encourage operators to share networks. Still on expenses, the partnership between telecoms that is already happening as a way to mitigate the costs of the transition was highlighted.

Regarding the values, the secretary of state for the digital transition states that the value is not quantified for already. "We don't know the amount, but we know the destination." The proceeds from the frequency auction will be used to create a Digital Transition Fund. He also did not mention which were the two cities chosen to receive 5G until the end of the year. From the point of view of cybersecurity, Portugal's position will be aligned with the measures of the European Union and its toolbox, and it does not mention names, nor does it exclude anyone, read Huawei, but it guarantees that like the recent European Commission directives on Diversification does not leave networks dependent on just one supplier "in the centers and the rest of the network".

The Government's working group on the topic will keep potential risks under surveillance, following the measures defined at European level, maintaining Portugal this line in order to guarantee the best cybersecurity practices and until April 20, the measures that the Government will reveal will adopt in line with Brussels.

ANACOM will announce today the Draft Auction Regulation for the Assignment of Rights of Use for Frequencies in the 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.6 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands, with the resolution of the Government wants to guarantee the use of 80 to 100 MHz in this last band.

The 5G security issue is the US pressure

In December last year, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, visited Portugal to warn of the threat of Chinese technology in 5G. And even without mentioning names, it left between the lines that it would be Huawei and ZTE. At the time, Augusto Santos Silva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, guaranteed that the technology of Chinese companies would not be excluded in the 5G auction, also remembering that regulations will be followed in all processes.

In the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson's government also ended up ignoring the United States' request to block Huawei, signing an agreement that allows Chinese technology to build its 5G network. However, it can only cover 35% in the participation of the part of the network considered to be of low risk, being excluded from sensitive cores. Vodafone even decided to remove all Huawei equipment from its mobile network infrastructure in Europe, saying that the process will take 5 years to complete, with an associated cost of 200 million euros.

In the Resolution of the Council of Ministers the 5G Security Working Group is defined, which has already started working last year but is now formally constituted and works within the framework of the Higher Security Council of Cyberspace, under the coordination of a representative of the National Cybersecurity Center.