‘The government is not yet in a position to decide what involvement Huawei should have in the provision of the UK’s 5G network,’ a UK officials says. Why? Blame Trump’s blacklist.
Whether or not UK telecom companies will be able to use Huawei technology in developing their 5G networks remains in limbo, as a government report says it cannot decide what to do.
“The government is not yet in a position to decide what involvement Huawei should have in the provision of the UK’s 5G network,” said Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
This is, ultimately, because the US government has not made a clear enough statement on whether Huawei will remain on the blacklist that has plagued it since May. Currently, Huawei is on an “entity list” that bans US companies from selling sensitive technologies to the Chinese manufacturer. This includes Google, ARM (which is not a US company but has close links to the US) and, for a spell, FedEx.
Despite mobile carriers’ desperation for a definitive answer, it will now be the decision of the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson as to how Huawei will operate in the UK. Johnson’s proximity to President Trump would suggest he is more likely than his predecessor to take a stringent view on the Chinese manufacturer.
Quoted in The Independent, Huawei’s vice president Victor Zhang said: “The UK Government’s Supply Chain Review gives us confidence that we can continue to work with network operators to roll out 5G across the UK. The findings are an important step forward for 5G and full fibre broadband networks in the UK and we welcome the Government’s commitment to ‘a diverse telecoms supply chain’ and ‘new legislation to enforce stronger security requirements in the telecoms sector.’
“After 18 years of operating in the UK, we remain committed to supporting BT, EE, Vodafone and other partners build secure, reliable networks.
“The evidence shows excluding Huawei would cost the UK economy £7 billion and result in more expensive 5G networks, raising prices for anyone with a mobile device. On Friday, Parliament’s Intelligence & Security Committee said limiting the market to just two telecoms suppliers would reduce competition, resulting in less resilience and lower security standards. They also confirmed that Huawei’s inclusion in British networks would not affect the channels used for intelligence sharing.”