Huawei: UK will have access to best technology

While Huawei could not confirm the reports that the British government will be allowing it to take part in 5G, the Chinese tech giant says that if they are true, the UK ‘will have access to the fastest and most reliable networks’.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Huawei has commented on reports that the United Kingdom will be allowing it to provide technology behind the nation's 5G network deployment, welcoming the potential news.

"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," Huawei Global said in a statement to media.

"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."

Read also: 5G, security and Huawei: Why the UK is taking a different approach

Huawei Australia chair John Lord added that consumers in the UK will benefit from the Chinese networking giant's "advanced and secure 5G networks".

"Australia also needs all the leading suppliers competing to ensure we get the best technology at the best price," Lord said on Wednesday after the company saw a 5G ban handed down by the Australian government in August last year.

The statements followed reports overnight that the UK will allow Huawei to take part in its 5G network deployments despite national security warnings from the United States.

British Prime Minister Theresa May greenlit Huawei's involvement, with the National Security Council permitting Huawei "limited access to help build parts of the network such as antennas and other 'non-core' infrastructure", The Telegraph said.

According to the report, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt had all expressed national security concerns about including Huawei as a vendor.

The news that the UK is reportedly allowing Huawei to take part in 5G follows the Trump administration last month reportedly telling Germany that it will share less intelligence with German agencies if Chinese networking giant Huawei is allowed to provide any of the technology behind the nation's 5G mobile networks.

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 US cooperation with intelligence agencies in Germany.

In early February, Reuters said German ministers had been meeting to discuss the possibility of a Huawei 5G ban after Chancellor Angela Merkel set conditions for the company's participation in new mobile networks. The conditions reportedly require guarantees from the company that it would not hand over information to the Chinese government.

The meeting followed reports at the end of last year that the Five Eyes alliance -- between the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand -- was passing classified information on Chinese foreign interference to Germany, as well as Japan.

Last month, Germany's Federal Network Agency, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) published a set of security requirements for all mobile networks, which are set to appear in draft form during the Northern Hemisphere's spring.

Huawei is also awaiting the final word from the New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), which in November handed down a draft decision saying the carrier could not use Chinese networking vendor Huawei's technology for deployment.


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