United Kingdom to cut Huawei’s involvement in 5G network

Cheryl Sanders
May 25, 2020

In January, the United Kingdom resisted pressure from the USA and Australia to ban the controversial company from its new-generation communications over fears Beijing could use it to steal secrets.

"Following the US announcement of additional sanctions against Huawei, the National Cyber Security Centre is looking carefully at any impact they could have to the UK's networks", a British government spokesman said. Johnson is said to be facing huge pressure from Conservative parliamentarians who are opposed to any HUAWEI presence in their 5G network citing security risks, while also hoping for reduced dependence on Chinese goods.

A government spokesman said in a statement: "Following the U.S. announcement of additional sanctions against Huawei, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is looking carefully at any impact they could have to the UK's networks".

However, the decision could prove to be rather costly for some of the UK's telecom firms that already use Huawei technology in their 5G networks, including EE, Vodafone and Three, FT reported.


Huawei has hit back in typically bullish fashion against the news, stating that the reports "simply don't make sense".

However, British political attitudes to China have hardened since the start of the coronavirus crisis amid complaints that Beijing was slow to acknowledge the seriousness of the disease when it first emerged in the city of Wuhan.

At the end of January, the British government gave the green light to Huawei's participation, foreseeing a limited participation in non-strategic infrastructures, with a market share limited to 35%.

The US has previously raised security concerns about the use of Huawei equipment, warning allies that use of it in their networks means they face being cut off from intelligence feeds.


In January, the telecoms equipment maker was granted a seat at the table in 5G development of what the United Kingdom government called non-sensitive parts of the network.

5G, which promises faster mobile internet data speeds, a stable network that can handle more connections, and more bandwidth for a multitude of different technological applications, has been touted as being a way to bridge the digital divide in areas where broadband internet rollouts have been inconsistent.

Three out of four of the UK's mobile networks had already made a decision to use and deploy Huawei's 5G products outside the core in the "periphery", namely Vodafone, EE and Three.


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