Huawei banned from UK’s core 5G networks, allowed in less sensitive segments

News

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has banned Huawei from supplying core parts of 5G networks in the UK.

The decision was made after a meeting of ministers with the National Security Council, according to a leaked story in The Daily Telegraph.

The Chinese vendor, widely seen to be the leader in 5G technology, will be allowed to supply some “none-core” element of the UK’s 5G networks.

This approach seems to align with the strategy outlined by Scott Petty, CTO, Vodafone UK, last month, which was to exclude Huawei equipment in the core, but to use it in the radio access network (RAN).

Petty stated that banning Huawei from the RAN would cost “hundreds of millions”, delay deployment “significantly” and “dramatically affect our 5G business case”.

Investment claims

Yesterday another British newspaper, The Times, published a story that claimed the US’ Central Intelligence Agency had unearthed “strong” indications, but not absolute proof, that the Chinese Government has invested in Huawei.

The alleged investment was made via the channels of the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese National Security Commission and a branch of the Government’s investment network.

Huawei has repeatedly insisted it is privately owned (although failed to provide conclusive proof) and consistently refuted allegations that the Chinese government has any control over the company or could use its equipment for espionage.

American pressure

The US government has been putting pressure on governments around the world to bar Huawei’s equipment from 5G networks primarily due to concerns about the Chinese authorities using it to spy.

The Chinese authorities say this as a political move designed to help the US’ 5G tech companies.

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer (the UK’s chief finance minister), Philip Hammond, is due to attend China’s Belt and Road investment Forum in Beijing this week.