UK To Select Huawei For Its 5G Project, Ignoring US Warnings

Published January 20th, 2020 - 12:00 GMT
UK To Select Huawei For Its 5G Project, Ignoring US Warnings
UK intelligence agencies are expressing confidence that they can sufficiently mitigate any potential security threat to allow Huawei to continue to provide at least the non-core telecommunications equipment for 5G rollout. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
The United States has claimed that Huawei represents a huge security threat due to its close ties to the Chinese government – and has been lobbying its allies in Europe to reconsider allowing Huawei to become involved in their 5G programs.

The UK government is expected to ignore calls from The White House to exclude Chinese telecommunication behemoth Huawei from participating in the buildout of its 5G networks.

The United States has claimed that Huawei represents a huge security threat due to its close ties to the Chinese government – and has been lobbying its allies in Europe to reconsider allowing Huawei to become involved in their 5G programs.

Despite the allegations from US intelligence agencies that the Chinese ICT leader is a threat to national security, no evidence has ever been unearthed to back-up those claims which have always been vehemently rejected by Huawei.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a close ally of US President Donald Trump, with many political commentators remarking that both seem to be kindred spirits in what is now an increasingly divisive political landscape.

However, it now appears likely that Johnson is going to plump for Huawei following remarks made by former national security advisor Sir Mark Lyall Grant, who said that security services had reached the conclusion that after several years they were able to mitigate any potential threats posed by Chinese technology.

Officials from the Trump administration has said it would be ‘madness’ for the UK to select Huawei for its 5G project – and said that it reassess intelligence sharing with them in the future as a result.

Grant told The Observer, that Huawei’s technology in 5G was advanced in comparison to its rivals and will be another factor in its decision to select the Chinese vendor for its next-generation network, that is expected to pave the way for autonomous driving and smart cities.

“UK intelligence agencies are expressing confidence that they can sufficiently mitigate any potential security threat to allow Huawei to continue to provide at least the non-core telecommunications equipment for 5G rollout. The government has developed an oversight mechanism which they are confident will work. Combine that with the fact that Huawei has more advanced technology than the alternatives, I think it is relatively likely that Boris Johnson will come to the same conclusion,” said Grant.

In addition to this, it has also been disclosed that two of the UK’s largest telecommunication operators, BT and Vodafone, are set to pen a letter to the Prime Minster in which they’re expected to outline their support for Huawei’s involvement in the 5G project.


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