Britain decision on Huawei 5G likely next week

Cheryl Sanders
January 25, 2020

British officials have proposed granting Huawei a limited role in the UK's future 5G network, resisting USA calls for a complete ban over fears of Chinese spying, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Britain's two largest telecommunications firms plan to lobby Prime Minister Boris Johnson to not fully ban Huawei hardware from the nation's 5G rollout.

The report states that the Defense Department is concerned about USA companies losing a key source of revenue if they can't continue to ship to Huawei.

The history is different in the US, which does not have Huawei equipment embedded in its networks, the person said. Vodafone did not respond to requests for comment.

The US claims that Huawei's close ties to the Chinese government could facilitate espionage, which Huawei has consistently denied.

Britain will soon make a decision regarding the role China's Huawei will be granted in its 5G telecommunications network, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Andrea Leadsom was quoted by Sky as saying on Thursday, as she deplored the limited number of alternative providers.

Mr Johnson is also under pressure from other western allies, including Australia, which has joined the United States in banning Huawei from its own 5G network.

Britain's debate about Huawei has dragged on for more than a year, amid intense political turmoil over its exit from the European Union.

Huawei, the smartphone manufacturer, has been facing complications with the US Government.

"In 2016, following the acquisition of EE, we began a process to remove Huawei equipment from the core of our 3G and 4G mobile networks, as part of network architecture principles in place since 2006, "BT said at the time". Just last week, USA senators proposed bipartisan legislation that would provide over $1 billion to invest in Western-based alternatives to both Huawei and fellow Chinese vendor ZTE.

The sources added that the recommendations come days before the National Security Council is set to meet in order to decide how to deploy Huawei equipment.

Officials in the United States have been urging other countries to ban Huawei's 5G equipment because they fear the equipment can be used to spy on the US. UU. The proposal is similar to a decision that the council took a year ago under the then Prime Minister Theresa May.

"The British public deserve to have access to the best possible technology. Now if people oppose one brand or another, then they have to tell us what's the alternative". That prevented many USA companies from selling to the Chinese company.

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