Research Notes

Security, China and Open RAN – Listen to podcast with 2 hours of concentrated knowledge or watch a 2 min. 37 sec video from Huawei

Strand Consult recommends’s latest podcast featuring editors Scott Bicheno and Iain Morris in conversation with John Strand on Security, China and OpenRAN. The podcast takes the Joe Rogan long form discussion up one level with two journalists challenging the guest on important, complex and controversial topics over two hours. While Rogan is known for guests who smoke weed and talk with people like Elon Musk, Mike Tyson, and Miley Cyrus, the Podcast showcases Friday afternoon beer. Listeners can fast-track their knowledge, bust myths, and build their knowledge bank on a wide range of tech and telecom topics. Find the podcast.

Understanding security, China and OpenRAN entail complex issues and competing corporate and political interests. In the pod, John Strand breaks down these issues, shows listeners how to ask more critical questions, and highlights Strand Consult’s extensive research to create transparency.

One common myth – and convenient media narrative – is that the Europe has imposed restrictions on untrusted vendors because of US pressure. Rather, European authorities and policymakers have not received due credit for their efforts. The fact is that the United Kingdom has some 16 years of regulating Huawei in communications networks. Moreover, the EU has conducted details studies and investigations of untrusted vendors and equipment. Some EU network security studies exceed what is performed in the US. Moreover, the EU has succeeded to craft its approach mobile network security – the 5G toolbox – a diplomatic, nuanced way which cannot be interpreted as prejudiced to any country or vendor. European policymakers accept the reality of the digital economy and society and demand network security which is built to last and impervious to the inevitable legal challenges and workarounds which undermine US security measures.

Hot topics from the pod.

In two hours, the three experts cover the bases in tech and telecom. Here are the highlights from the conversation between John Strand, Scott Bicheno, and Iain Morris:

  • Security in 5G networks: Is this trade policy disguised as security?
  • US-China: Can the EU make its own policy with two global hegemons?
  • From Russian gas to Chinese networks, does Germany put Europe’s security at risk?
  • Why is security a new game in the age of connected networks?
  • Why is Huawei and ZTE equipment a problem in communication networks?
  • Core, RAN and Cloud: How is 5G like hot, cold, and warm water?
  • The real rip and replace cost in mobile networks – 7 European cases.
  • Without Huawei and ZTE, is there a network equipment duopoly?
  • How the chip industry snorted Chinese cocaine.
  • We want to live in a nice, safe world: it is unrealistic?  
  • Is John Strand against OpenRAN or just tech hype?
  • OpenRAN – Why the US government wants another shiny object in its tech collection
  • Global 5G rollout: IsOpenRAN is too little too late?
  • The future of OpenRAN and 6G standards

The podcast is long, but it’s also funny and informative with exciting insight into what’s happening around the world.

If 2 hours is too long for you…

For the short version and bottom line in security, China and OpenRan, then check out the 2 min 37 sec video of a Huawei employee appreciation ceremony at Huawei´s main office in China. While Huawei has consistently rejected ties to the Chinese government and military, the video provides a telling contradiction. It demonstrates important Chinese military symbolism including flag, music, and marching choreography demonstrating the techno-nationalism concept.

The video features Sabrina Meng Deputy Chairwoman, Rotating Chairwoman, CFO, Eric Xu Deputy Chairman, Rotating Chairman, Ken Hu Deputy Chairman, Rotating Chairman, Zhang Ping’an Executive Director, CEO of Huawei Cloud Computing Technologies, Richard Yu Executive Director , Li Jianguo Executive Director, President of the Manufacturing Dept

The key difference of Western companies from Chinese ones is the separation from government, whereas in the Chinese conception, they are integrated. Similarly, the Chinese military is equivalent to the state. In the Western conception, the military is subservient to the state and is under civilian control. Western values of democracy and individual self-determination are contrasted with collectivism and authoritarianism.

We have a lot of free research and reports about this subject.

Strand Consult has published many reports on Security, China and Open RAN. In 2019, 5G became a mainstream topic and rebooted the discussion of the value that telecommunications brings to society including innovation, security, and inclusion. Consider the many transformations that the industry has delivered from the invention of the telephone. Today the digital world, including its businesses, the communications of individuals, and the operations of the public sector is predicated on the advanced infrastructure that the telecom industry provides.

Policymakers in the US and EU have today a lot of focus on communications network equipment from Chinese vendors. In 2019 Strand Consult published many research notes and reports to help telecom companies navigate a complex world. We focused heavily on the problem of Chinese equipment in telecommunications networks. While the media has largely focused on Huawei, the discussion should be broadened to the many companies that are owned or affiliated with the Chinese government including but not limited to TikTok, Lexmark, Lenovo, TCL, and so on. Although some of our customers disagree with our views, Strand Consult’s job is to publish what is actually happening and how policy decisions may affect their business in the future. Here are some of our key research.

Strand Consult has studied OpenRAN and produced many reports and research notes on the topic. We was the first to identified that there are at least 44 Chinese firms participating in the OpenRAN Alliance. We have nothing against OpenRAN or open source. We want to create the transparency O-RAN Alliance are fighting against, and we share the concerns of EU and the US House Foreign Affairs Committee when it comes to transparency.

In an effort to lift the level of policy discussion, Strand Consult offers a comprehensive review of the public documents promoting deployment of 5G Open Radio Access Networks (OpenRAN). These include the set of industrial, think tank, advocacy, and academic papers and reports as well as official proceedings by regulators and authorities in the United States and European Union

Strand Consult believes that such processes and subsequent reports are important. Telecommunications regulatory and policy authorities can help create transparency that allows actors to navigate a complex world. Moreover they can provide policymakers with objective information for decision making as well as develop scenarios with associated cost benefit  analysis. Here are some of our key research.

For more information about Strand Consult’s research on Security, China and Open RAN, please contact us.