Huawei’s role in 5G network reviewed by UK


A new review to be conducted by the UK Government into the impact of allowing Huawei telecoms equipment to be used in British 5G networks and software

After the US has brought fresh sanctions against the Chinese Company citing security fears, The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has got involved.

The UK has been resisting pressure from US since January to ban Huawei from contributing to 5G.

A NCSC spokesman said: “The security and resilience of our networks is of paramount importance.”

“Following the US announcement of additional sanctions against Huawei, the NCSC is looking carefully at any impact they could have to the UK’s networks.”

Huawei will be restricted from using US technology and software to design its semiconductors as per the sanction.

Huawei has defied regulations implemented last year that needed the firm to get a license to export US item, as confirmed by the US department of Commerce.

It has also been confirmed that the giant tech has overruled this important clause and got the US semiconductor manufactured at the factories in other countries.      

Reliable network

Huawei had a limited role approved by the UK government in order to build the country’s new mobile networks.

Supplying kit to the “sensitive parts” of the network called Core was not allowed to the firm and it has only permission to account for 35% of the supply kit in a network’s periphery, which includes radio masts.

NCSC – part of the intelligence agency GCHQ –  had informed the UK mobile operators that they would require 3 years in accord with the limit on the use of Huawei equipment in their networks.

Victor Zhang, vice-president at Huawei, released a statement on the review: “Our priority remains to continue the rollout of a reliable and secure 5G ne tworks across Britain.”

He also said: “We are happy to discuss with NCSC any concerns they may have and hope to continue the close working relationship we have enjoyed for the last 10 years.”

It’s been a debatable topic among the critics to allow the Chinese company to play any role at all in the UK’s 5G network as they see it as a security threat. They are afraid that Beijing could be spying or even disrupting communications.

A backbench rebellion within the conservative party have already flashed to overturn the move in the month of March. A letter was already written to the Prime Minister just before he was admitted in the hospital to rethink on the relations with China by a group of 15 conservative MP’s on April 4th.

Huawei has been insisting the UK Government not to “disrupt” its involvement in the rollout of 5G through an open letter.

After all the lengthened and complicated discussions, the government has agreed to not disturb Huawei’s role in 5G but has restricted its market share to 35% and to keep it away from the sensitive and confidential parts.

But post Coronavirus crisis, the domestic pressure along with the backbencher rebellion has grown and has created a tough situation for China.

Simultaneously, the US government has not moderated in its campaign for the UK and other allies to exclude Huawei entirely.

This criticism possibly offers the Government to review its earlier decision and exclude the firm or impose further limits- it has chances of involving increased economic costs at the home country and increased tension with Bejing. 

Huawei has been highlighting after the pandemic that there has been a significant pressure on British Telecom system and how people in the country specially living in rural areas.

5G, assures to bridge the digital gap in the areas where internet has been inconsistent by faster mobile internet data speed, a stable network which can handle several connections at a time.

The giant tech has won 91 5G contracts all over the world as per the latest data revealed by the firm.

Huawei’s CEO affirms that he would “shut the company down” rather than aid “any spying activities”. The company always declines to support Chinese government to attack one of its clients.

Majority of the mobile networks have opted to use and expand Huawei’s 5G products outside the core in the “periphery”, namely Vodafone, EE and Three.

Vodafone and EE are facing to reduce their reliability on the supplier, as more than 35% of their existing radio access network equipment was made by it.

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