Britain ‘Approves’ Huawei role in building ‘non-core’ parts for 5G Network

Pierluigi Paganini April 25, 2019

British Government has approved a limited role for Huawei in the building of a national 5G network in the country, ignoring security concerns from senior ministers

According to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, British Prime Minister Theresa May decided to assign a limited role to Chinese telco giant Huawei in the building of a 5G network in the UK.

The approval continues to raise concerns because the Government ignored security warnings from senior ministers and the US Government.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt raised serious concerns on the decision.

Britain’s National Security Council approved a limited role for Huawei to help build a “non-core” infrastructure such as antennas”

“Theresa May has given the green light to a Chinese telecoms giant to help build Britain’s new 5G network despite warnings from the US and some of her most senior ministers that it poses a risk to national security.” reads the post published by The Daily Telegraph.

“The National Security Council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, agreed on Tuesday to allow Huawei limited access to help build parts of the network such as antennas and other “noncore” infrastructure.”

The decision comes as the chancellor Philip Hammond prepares to travel to China to promote the participation of his government in the Belt and Road Initiative.

“According to one person briefed on the discussions, Mrs May approved “in principle” the recent assessment by the National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ, that the risk from Huawei to future 5G telecoms networks could be mitigated.” reported The Financial Times.

At the time of writing, Digital Minister Margot James denied the news reported by the media.

“In spite of cabinet leaks to the contrary, final decision yet to be made on managing threats to telecoms infrastructure,” she tweeted.

“The decision has not been finally made yet and the Prime Minister will take advice form all of the relevant agencies and departments,” she
told Sky News.

On the other side, Huawei praised the alleged decision of the UK government,

“Huawei welcomes reports that the UK government is moving towards allowing Huawei to help build the UK’s 5G network,” it said in a brief statement.

“This green light means that UK businesses and consumers will have access to the fastest and most reliable networks thanks to Huawei’s cutting edge technology.”

“While we await a formal government announcement, we are pleased that the UK is continuing to take an evidence-based approach to its work and we will continue work cooperatively with the government, and the industry,” the Chinese company added.

What will happen after this decision?

The UK is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance (US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand) and agencies from other countries already expressed their ban on Chinese technology and the decision could raise a heated debate..

Earlier this month Germany also announced that it would not ban Huawei from the auction to build its 5G network.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Huawei, 5G)

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