United Kingdom to block Huawei from core parts of 5G network

April FrancisApr 25, 2019

Chinese tech giant Huawei has reportedly been given the go ahead to help build Britains new 5G network Pic: AP Photo/Kin Cheung.

The Chinese telecoms firm has already been hit with bans and restrictions in the USA and other parts of the world, and Huawei has been criticized for its "very, very shoddy" security.

According to The Wall Street Journal, United States Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told the German government in a letter that allowing Chinese vendor equipment across 5G networks would reduce USA cooperation with intelligence agencies in Germany.

Last month, Huawei launched a lawsuit against the United States government for banning its equipment from certain networks.

Huawei itself welcomed the report.

The Centre also said it can provide "only limited assurance that the long-term security risks can be managed in the Huawei equipment now deployed in the UK" and that it "can only provide limited assurance that all risks to United Kingdom national security from Huawei's involvement in the UK's critical networks can be sufficiently mitigated long-term".

The decision appears to have divided the cabinet, some of whom still have significant concerns over the Huawei issue, especially given that an early verdict from GCHQ research into the company's equipment found that while there was no evidence of backdoors there was "shoddy" engineering in the equipment that was tested.

The US has led opposition to Huawei, with the vice-president, Mike Pence, urging western nations to ban the company from supplying next-generation mobile phone technology.

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In what some have compared to the Cold War arms race, the United States is anxious 5G dominance would give any global competitor such as China an advantage Washington is not ready to accept.

However, Ms James said she was not "biased against" Huawei and that "banishing" one supplier would not solve security concerns.

He said: "We need clarity on the risks and costs of a decision either way, and we need it now".

Huawei has denied these allegations, saying there was no proof, and that its work is as secure as anyone's.

Huawei's equipment is either not present or is being stripped out of existing core networks in Britain, but is widely used in lower risk parts such as radio masts.

What Britain is trying to do is keep Huawei's technology away from the brain of the network, while using it in the less sensitive parts of the nervous system.

"Our most important security alliance is the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network", Tugendhat said.

Tugendhat said it was hard to define core and non-core with 5G and that the Chinese company should not be allowed to build Britain's 5G network.

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