U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled, “5G Supply Chain Security: Threats and Solutions,” at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. The hearing will examine the security and integrity of the telecommunications supply chain and efforts to secure networks from exploitation in the transition to 5G. The hearing will also examine the federal government’s role in mitigating risks to telecommunications equipment and services in the U.S. and abroad.
- Mr. Steven Berry, President and Chief Executive Officer, Competitive Carriers Association
- Mr. Jason Boswell, Head of Security, Network Product Solutions, Ericsson
- Ms. Asha Keddy, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Next Generation and Standards, Intel Corporation
- Mr. Mike Murphy, Chief Technology Officer, Americas at Nokia
- Dr. James Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director of the Technology Policy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
*Witness list subject to change
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
This hearing will take place in the Russell Senate Office Building 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.
*Note: Witness list updated 3/2/2020
Chairman Roger Wicker
Closing the digital divide and positioning the United States to win the global race to 5G are priorities for this committee. Over the past several months, we have been discussing the wide-ranging economic and social benefits that broadband connectivity has delivered to communities across this country.
We have also discussed the promise of 5G networks to build upon these past advancements and create new opportunities. Our continued ability to connect all Americans and provide access to next-generation technology will depend in large part on the security of the nation’s communications infrastructure.
Over the past few years, the United States Government, intelligence officials, and international allies have determined that telecommunications equipment from certain vendors, such as Huawei and ZTE, poses a national security risk. Foreign adversaries and enemies of the United States have the capability of using this compromised equipment to spy on Americans, steal our intellectual property, or otherwise disrupt our way of life and economic well-being.
To date, both Congress and the Trump Administration have taken a number of actions to address these security threats and protect our networks and devices from hostile exploitation. These actions include banning the use of Huawei and ZTE components in government systems; prohibiting the use of Universal Service Funds to purchase communications equipment and services from Huawei and ZTE, and other high-risk suppliers; and adding Huawei and its affiliates to the Entity List.
Most recently, Congress passed the “Secure and Trusted Communications Network Act”. When signed into law by President Trump in just a few days, this law establishes a critical “rip and replace” program for small and rural telecommunications operators to remove compromised equipment from their networks and replace it with components from trusted suppliers.
While this is a meaningful step forward in safeguarding the security of the nation’s communications systems, the unfortunate reality is that our networks have already been compromised by foreign adversaries.
We are seeing more reports that Huawei can covertly access mobile phone networks around the world. At the same time, some of our close allies are granting Huawei access to their communications systems.
These are troubling developments. We need to do more to shore up our own network defenses against hackers and state-sponsored actors, especially in our nation’s rural and underserved communities. This effort will require the development of a comprehensive strategy to secure the telecommunications supply chain.
Currently, Huawei maintains the largest global market share of telecommunications equipment. The absence of a viable and affordable American or European alternative for end-to-end telecommunications components, including radios, chips, software, and devices, has enabled Huawei to increase its global influence.
At a time of rising global demand for 5G equipment, I hope witnesses will discuss what more Congress and the Administration can do to support trusted suppliers, invest in new technologies, and expand the domestic market for 5G network components.
There are a number of international standards-setting organizations, such as the Third Generation Partnership Project or 3-G-P-P, and the International Telecommunications Union, that are developing technical standards for 5G. U.S. participation in these organizations is also key to a secure telecommunications supply chain. Today’s hearing is an opportunity for witnesses to discuss how to increase U.S. engagement in the standards development process. This will help ensure American technical expertise and priorities are considered in the development of next-generation technologies.
Finally, I hope we will learn about how the telecommunications industry can improve its “cyber hygiene”- meaning what best practices companies could adopt to mitigate risks to vulnerable supply chains. I also hope we will learn about what more the FCC can do to secure legacy networks and manage security risks in the transition to 5G.
Witness Panel 1
Mr. Steven BerryPresident and Chief Executive OfficerCompetitive Carriers Association
Mr. Jason BoswellHead of SecurityNetwork Product Solutions, Ericsson
Ms. Asha KeddyCorporate Vice President and General ManagerNext Generation and Standards, Intel Corporation
Mr. Mike MurphyChief Technology OfficerAmericas at Nokia
Dr. James LewisSenior Vice President and Director of the Technology Policy ProgramCenter for Strategic and International Studies