TIA Launches Telecom Equipment Supply Chain Security Initiative

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has launched an initiative to promote secure telecommunications supply chain standards and programs. The move comes at a time when concerns about supply chain security have driven the U.S. government to try to prevent the use of equipment from Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE in public telecom networks.

“Our economy demands safe, secure and reliable devices, equipment and networks for businesses and consumers. With the unprecedented connectivity that 5G promises, network and supply chain security have become the most critical global telecom issues of our time,” TIA CEO David Stehlin said in a press release. “Industry-driven standards are the only way to build a trusted and secure global network. As the leading industry association for the connected world, TIA is uniquely poised to lead the way.”

TIA Supply Chain Security Initiatives

The TIA also has released a position paper entitled “Trust in ICT Supply Chain Security Can Only Come from Global Industry-Driven Standards and Programs.” It describes the economic imperative for industry-driven standards and describes ICT supply chains as increasingly vulnerable.

The paper suggests that this should be done through the private sector. It says that “trust and integrating” in supply chains require industry-driven standards, measurements and benchmarking. Together, these produce a consistent, common and accepted set of global standards.

An industry-led approach responds and adapts more quickly to changing technology, the needs of the market and new threats, TIA argues. A market-based solution also maintains innovation, competition and economic growth, the paper says.

The TIA’s QuEST Forum has established an industry-led working group of leaders and security experts who will assess the current supply chain security landscape and map the way forward, according to the TIA.


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