By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 4: Chinese internet service provider and telecom giant Huawei has set up three 5 G stations in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the latest in the telecom and internet technology near the Indian border in what is being called a fortification of Chinese government infrastructure by experts.
Chinese state media Xinhua reported that on March 1, Chinese telecom giant China Mobile launched the first 5G base station in Lhasa. Government owned China Mobile which has partnered with Huawei has two additional 5G base stations in Lhasa.
The newly opened station’s outdoor terminal tests offered an average internet speed of some 500 Mbps that is capable of downloading a 1GB file in only two seconds, said China Mobile's Tibet branch.
The 5 G network labelled a ‘game changer’ in the tech and telecommunications world is 10 to 100 times faster than 4G LTE networks. The Chinese company has said that the new network is aimed at linking TAR with the rests of China and enable farmers and locals to have advanced and modern communication services for overall economic development.
However, internet and security experts have said that the stations will act as arms to Chinese military and offensive infrastructure in the region that borders India. “As a number of Chinese defence academics and engineers have postulated, 5G could improve battlefield communications with faster and more stable information transmission, increasing the timeliness and integration of information,” said Elsa B Kania, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security in the US.
Huawei is increasingly seen as carrying Beijing’s espionage agendas by many including its most vocal opposition, the US which has barred the company’s infrastructure and has been warning its allies against using the Chinese company’s gear.
A US Congress report concluded that "Huawei did not fully cooperate with the investigation and was unwilling to explain its relationship with the Chinese government or Chinese Communist Party, while credible evidence exists that it fails to comply with US laws."
Huawei’s global conquest of the 5 G tech is facing opposition in many nations including the so called Five Eyes, a group of five English speaking countries (US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain) whose intelligence agencies share information. The US has also urged leading EU nation Germany and other countries such as India, Japan and Philippines to thwart Beijing’s espionage threats that is Washington suspects will use Huawei as a Trojan horse.