BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - The traffic light coalition is struggling over the use of components from the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei in future German mobile networks. The background to this are security concerns. According to a report in the "Handelsblatt" newspaper, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and several ministers are discussing the issue this Thursday. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD), Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) as well as Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Economics Minister Robert Habeck (both Greens) will be present. According to the report, the German government is considering a solution in the near future, possibly before the parliamentary summer break, which begins at the start of July. It will also involve products from the Chinese company ZTE.

The Ministry of the Interior had already decided in September to radically force Huawei and ZTE out of the network with bans. The three mobile network providers Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica Deutschland (O2) were to rid their core networks of critical components of Chinese origin by the end of 2025. By 2026, the major metropolitan areas - above all the capital Berlin - should be free of Chinese components in the access network if possible.

However, there were concerns in the department of Digital Minister Wissing. They argued that there were already strict regulations in place. A spokesperson emphasized on Thursday: "We firmly reject the claim that the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport is blocking a decision on security issues relating to the expansion of the mobile network."

In a joint statement, the two Green Party interior politicians Konstantin von Notz and Misbah Khan warned against the use of the technology. "The less technology from authoritarian states is installed in our telecommunications networks, the better. And the faster we remove installed technology, the safer," they explained. "Far too much dependence on individual providers must be reduced as quickly as possible."

Digital politicians from the SPD and FDP were open to giving network operators a significantly longer period of time to dismantle the equipment. "An expansion of the Huawei components in the 5G network by 2029 is a good and necessary step," said Maximilian Funke-Kaiser, digital policy spokesperson for the FDP parliamentary group in the Bundestag, in an interview with Handelsblatt. SPD digital expert Jens Zimmermann explained that it is important that the 5G process can now be completed with "legal certainty" and possible further delays due to legal proceedings can be prevented. "I therefore consider the deadline to be reasonable and responsible if the network operators finally take the signals from politicians that have been ignored so far seriously and make their networks more secure - if possible before the deadline expires - and finally distance themselves from problematic dependencies," he told the newspaper.

Representatives of the Greens and CDU, on the other hand, expressed their unease. "A lot can happen between now and 2029. To prioritize economic policy considerations over security policy considerations in this way carries an enormous risk. It must be crystal clear who bears the political responsibility in the event of damage," explained von Notz and Khan. CDU MP Roderich Kiesewetter told Handelsblatt: "I consider an extension period until 2029 to be dangerous because it deliberately ignores the threat posed by Chinese components, which are already endangering our economy and security authorities, or allows them to persist for longer."/hrz/DP/ngu