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The Week Ahead: The Mobile Carriers Show to tackle 5G, network security

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The Week Ahead: The Mobile Carriers Show to tackle 5G, network security

Mobile Carriers Show:

The Mobile Carriers Show, a conference focused on regional and rural mobile services, kicks off in Las Vegas this week, exploring a range of top issues in the telecommunications industry, including next-generation 5G technology and security. Because of the billions of connected devices 5G will enable and the unique network infrastructure 5G will demand, the security concerns associated with the new technology are different than those the telecom industry faced with 4G.

Despite advancements, there remains a large gap in security architectures between 4G and 5G networks, a problem that will be explored at the show. In particular, one panel will look at how mobile operators and security firms are working on new tools that allow network owners to see deep inside their network traffic to stop the most advanced cyber attacks. Another solution being considered is how operators can use big data analytics to better automate security at scale.

Another emerging 5G security concern is the role of Chinese companies, such as Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp., in advancing the technology. Huawei is currently the world's largest supplier of wireless equipment and a top vendor of smartphones, but U.S. government officials have expressed concerns that Chinese manufacturers could allow their country's government to install spy technology in devices sold in the U.S. Earlier this year, these concerns led Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. to back out of deals to sell Huawei smartphones in the U.S. Moreover, in January, Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, introduced a bill that would prohibit the U.S. government from purchasing or leasing telecommunications equipment and services from Huawei and ZTE.

Tom Dowding, senior vice president of sales at Huawei Technologies USA Inc., plans to give a keynote pitch titled "Huawei Innovations for Rural America" during the conference, a presentation that will come roughly one week after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai sent a letter to lawmakers in both the House and Senate saying that he shared their concerns about "the security threat that Huawei and other Chinese technology companies pose" to U.S. communications networks. He added that he plans to take "proactive steps to help ensure the integrity of the communications supply chain in the United States in the near future."

Huawei and ZTE have denied that their products represent any security threat. According to CNBC, CEO Ken Hu told reporters at Mobile World Congress earlier this year that any security concerns were "groundless suspicions" and that he welcomed a "factual debate" on the issue.

S&P Global Market Intelligence will be covering breaking news at the Mobile Carriers Show from Las Vegas this week.

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Congress:
March 27 Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., will host a net neutrality forum with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.
Chamber of Commerce:
March 26 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, TrustArc and the Information Technology Industry Council will co-host a workshop on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's cross-border privacy rules. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen will deliver keynote remarks.
The DOJ:
March 26 - 30 Trial will continue in the Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit against the AT&T/Time Warner Inc. deal.
FCC events:
March 27 The FCC's Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment will hold a meeting at 10 a.m. ET.
March 28 The FCC's Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council will hold a meeting at 1 p.m. ET.
March 29 The 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee's informal working group for regulatory issues will chat at 10 a.m. ET. The advisory committee is chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to provide the FCC with public views and recommendations in preparation for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference.
March 29 The 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee's informal working group for space services will chat at 11 a.m. ET.
Industry events:
March 27 - 29 The Competitive Carriers Association will hold its Mobile Carriers Show in Las Vegas.
March 27 Free State Foundation will hold its 10th annual Telecom Policy Conference, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will deliver the opening keynote address, while FCC Commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr will speak later in the day.
March 28 The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host an event titled "Defending Intellectual Property: Is Section 337 the Right Answer?"
March 29 The Brookings Institution will hold an event titled "The future of EU data protection: A view from a leader in Parliament."
March 29 Engine and the Charles Koch Institute will hold a panel titled "The Nuts and Bolts of User Generated Content."
More cybersecurity events:

March 26 - 28

Information Institute, along with several universities, will host the 17th annual Security Conference. The theme for 2018 is: Securing the interconnected world.
March 27 - 28 The International Association of Privacy Professionals will host the Global Privacy Summit 2018.

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