5G outsourcing elephant

It’s so obvious, it hurts. Really.

I am really sorry that I missed two articles until now. One is a long, but not too technical analysis from 2020 about “whether European telecommunication companies should source 5G equipment from Huawei."

Its most important, and probably even the most general and most “reusable” argument is that:

  • “In a modern telecommunications service provider, new equipment is deployed, configured, maintained and often financed by the vendor”.
  • “any worries about the Chinese being able to disrupt our communications through backdoors ignore the fact that all they’d need to do to disrupt our communications.. is to stop maintaining our networks for us!"

No 5G? Let’s talk toasters, then

5G outsourcing elephant /img/toaster.jpg

The other piece, published in January 2021, is a wonderful and sad description of “How Tech Loses Out over at Companies, Countries and Continents”. Its concern is:

“In any organization, in any company, in any group, any country and even any continent, what level of technical capability, do we need to retain? How technical do we need to stay to remain viable as a company or a country or a continent? And is there a point of no return?"

To find an answer, that article explains, among other things, that:

  • toasters look simple but are also difficult things to make
  • toaster manufacturers don’t need to make all their components internally
  • in fact, these days, it is very easy to become “an actual credible toaster company without doing any of the things that are actually around making toast."

But of course, that company will be extremely fragile, and never able to stay independent. Just like the telecom “providers” of 5G networks.

A sad state of thing this is. But ignoring it would be very dangerous, and those two articles give great insight on why and how it would be dangerous. Wherever you live, read them, and vote accordingly.