Daily US Times, London: The UK has decided to allow Huawei to built the country’s 5G network but with restrictions, despite pressure from the US to block the firm.
The Chinese tech giant will work on UK’s 5G network projects but will be banned from supplying kit to “sensitive parts” of the network, known as the core.
In addition to that, the company will only be allowed to account for 35% of the kit in a network’s periphery, which includes radio masts. Huawei will not be allowed from areas near military bases and nuclear sites.
Huawei’s UK chief Victor Zhang said in a statement that the company is reassured by the UK government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G rollout on track.
“It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market,” the statement added.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced pressure from some Conservative MPs and the US to block the Chinese tech giant on the grounds of national security.
A White House official said the US is ‘disappointed’ by the UK’s decision.
China had warned the UK there could be “substantial” repercussions to other trade and investment plans had the company been banned outright.
Allowing Huawei to built the 5G network is considered the Prime Minister’s biggest test of post-Brexit strategy to date.
Newt Gingrich, a Republican and former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, described the UK’s decision as a “strategic defeat” for his country.
The US has been accusing Huawei of spying, what the company denied. The founder of the company Ren Zhengfei said he would “shut the company down” rather than aid “any spying activities”.
What did the mobile operators say?
Three of four UK mobile operators had already decided to use and deploy Huawei’s 5G products outside the core in the “periphery”.
Two of them – Vodafone and EE now face having to reduce their reliance on the Chinese company, as more than 35% of their existing radio access network equipment was made by it.
Britain’s digital secretary Baroness Morgan said: “We want world-class connectivity as soon as possible but this must not be at the expense of our national security.”
“High-risk vendors never have been and never will be in our most sensitive networks”, he added.
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