LG U+ shows trust for 5G equipment provided by China's Huawei

20, Dec. 2018

SEOUL, Aju -LG U+, a mobile carrier involved in the establishment of South Korea's 5G mobile network, showed trust for the security of Huawei's 5G equipment, which has been banned in the United States and some other countries over unverifiable accusations that the Chinese company has "back doors" embedded in its network and devices.

LG U+ is the only South Korean mobile carrier to pick Huawei's equipment. The Chinese company has expressed its willingness to disclose its source code, a series of computer commands written in a human-readable programming language. Programmers can look into the source code to find out how and why certain computer programs work and whether it has a security hole.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill banning the government use of Huawei technology in August this year. Australia and several other countries have not allowed the Chinese company to supply 5G equipment.

"The source code and technical data were provided for inspection last month. There will be a chance next year to see that verification is being done perfectly next year," LG U+ vice chairman Ha Hyun-hwoi told reporters Wednesday, adding Huawei has applied for a security certification to an international certification body in Spain.

"Huawei is supplying communications equipment in about 170 countries. As yet, security issues have not been raised anywhere," Ha said. For its 5G network, LG U+ also uses equipment from Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Ericsson.

Under a strong government initiative, South Korean firms offered 5G services partially in big cities on December 1. Full commercial service for ordinary clients is to begin in March next year. Experts predict the 5G era will bring a dramatic change to daily life.

Ha defended the partnership between LG U+ and Netflix, the world's top over-the-top (OTT) media company which provides a paid media subscription service through various devices. "The initial reaction is considerably better than expected, and I think it is a good way to revitalize the Korean content industry."

Under an accord in November, Netflix can provide its service using LGU+'s IPTV set-top box. IPTV subscribers will get a new remote control with the Netflix button. Consumers can pay Netflix subscriptions through their LGU+ bill. In South Korea, Netflix launched online streaming services available on its website or a mobile app in 2016.

Domestic broadcasters have urged LG U+ to sever ties with Netflix, arguing the alliance between LG U+ and Netflix could hurt South Korea's media industry. The partnership came amid tough competition among South Korean cinema chain operators. Their business has declined due to home theater systems and easy access to multiple channels.