Nearshore Americas

Washington’s Warning to Costa Rica: Keep Your 5G Networks China-Free

The United States government issued a stern caution to Costa Rica, urging the country to refrain from incorporating Chinese telecommunications technology into its 5G infrastructure.

During a recent visit to Costa Rica, US Ambassador of Digital Policy Nathaniel Fick and Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger cast doubt on the reliability of networks constructed by Chinese corporations, citing national security concerns.

The Chinese Embassy in Costa Rica vehemently rebutted the US allegations, denouncing them as “fabrications” while defending the practices of Chinese telecom giants such as Huawei.

Costa Rica excluded Chinese companies from bidding on 5G network contracts, citing cybersecurity concerns. President Chaves signed a decree establishing that only companies from countries that have endorsed the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime would be eligible to bid on 5G contracts.

It was later discovered that two companies that had won 5G contracts, Sonda Systemas and One Way Technologies, rely on Huawei for key telecom equipment.

Costa Rica, still recovering from a devastating cyberattack last year, is actively collaborating with the United States to bolster its cyber and digital infrastructure, including support for next-generation connectivity.

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The US has committed US$25 million to help Costa Rica build robust technology and processes to defend against future cyber threats.

“We greatly value Costa Rica’s leadership on 5G and its long-term commitment to safeguarding the data of the country’s citizens, companies and government offices by relying on trusted suppliers,” the US State Department said almost a year ago in a statement.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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