The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) on Jan. 21 announced a new initiative to build industry-driven telecommunications supply chain security standards and programs.
“Our economy demands safe, secure and reliable devices, equipment and networks for businesses and consumers,” commented TIA CEO David Stehlin. "With the unprecedented connectivity that 5G promises, network and supply chain security have become the most critical global telecom issues of our time. 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.”
In fleshing out the new initiative, TIA announced that it will convene public and private sector leaders at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 26, including: U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai; Ambassador Robert L. Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy at the U.S. Department of State; James Gowen, Vice President of Supply Chain Operations and Chief Sustainability Officer for Verizon; and Amit Dhingra, Vice President of Global Services Delivery for Nokia, for a discussion titled “The need for supply chain security in a 5G connected world.”
Panelists will review the global security risks of our current network landscape and highlight both government intervention and industry-led programs that are needed to secure the telecommunications network and supply chain.
TIA has also released a new position paper entitled, “Trust in ICT Supply Chain Security Can Only Come from Global Industry-Driven Standards and Programs,” that outlines the economic imperative for creating industry-driven standards that will strengthen trust among businesses and consumers. The paper outlines how the ICT supply chain has become increasingly complex and vulnerable to threats by criminals and bad-actors that can disrupt business continuity and devastate consumer confidence, with vast economic consequences.
TIA’s position paper outlines how ensuring trust and integrity in the ICT supply chain can only come from industry-driven standards, measurements, and benchmarking that form a consistent, common, and accepted set of global requirements. The paper discusses how an industry-led approach can respond and adapt more quickly to changing technology, market needs, and new threats than government regulations, while maintaining innovation, competition and economic growth.
TIA notes that the association has the track record and experience to take the lead globally on ICT supply chain security. TIA, together with its members, has developed and maintained more than 3,600 telecommunications industry standards. The QuEST Forum TL 9000 Quality Management System, part of TIA’s Business Performance Community, has been successfully meeting global supply chain quality requirements of the worldwide ICT industry for more than 20 years, providing an adaptable foundation to address security.
Under the umbrella of the QuEST Forum arm, TIA has established an industry-led working group of leaders and security experts to assess the current landscape and initiate the development of global, industry-driven standards and assessments that ensure the integrity of the ICT supply chain.
TIA’s government affairs team is also leading advocacy efforts on ICT supply chain security and working with regulators across the Americas, Europe and Asia on approaches to securing critical infrastructure and networks. In 2019, TIA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Indian telecommunications regulators to enhance cooperation on 5G deployment. As a founding member of the Beijing-based United States Information and Technology Office (USITO), TIA has worked to ensure that China’s approach to cybersecurity is inclusive of global companies with proven networks solutions.