The GSMA announced Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson and Nokia passed an independent security audit of product development and lifecycle management processes, and are set to submit network kit for evaluation in a second round of tests.
Examinations of vendor processes and equipment are being conducted as part of a network equipment security assurance scheme (NESAS) established by the GSMA and 3GPP. It is designed to improve security levels across the mobile industry with a focus on vendor aspects of the supply chain.
With all four meeting requirements for the first stage of approval, the vendors will now submit specific pieces of equipment to approved labs for evaluation.
Results are provided to the vendor, though it is at their discretion if this information is then passed on to customers or made publicly available.
The GSMA noted the scheme allows vendors to demonstrate equipment meets unified standards, avoiding inconsistencies between requirements from different countries and regions.
GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair said: “By committing to NESAS, vendors are helping network operators, and other stakeholders make informed decisions about secure product development.”
The organisation added the project represented “a critical industry initiative that increases transparency and incentivises vendors to develop and support network equipment in a way that protects operators and their customers and can underpin national security requirements”.
The announcement comes as supply chain security continues to be a critical industry issue, with some nations blocking Chinese vendors from 5G networks on security grounds and calls in other areas for authorities to perform full supply chain assessments.
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