British Telcos Will Be Told To Strip Huawei Out Of Their Networks

A new report from the British spy agency GCHQ raises security issues over using 5G from  Huawei. The National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ) believes that US sanctions against Huawei will make it impossible to use the Chinese company’s technology as planned for 5G networks.

The UK government has reviewed the report that is widely thought will cause it to change its view on the Chinese firm's role in the UK's telecoms networks. Prime minister Boris Johnson has said that he did not want the country to be "vulnerable to a high-risk state vendor".  

The government is now drawing up plans to stop the purchase of new Huawei gear and remove the existing 5G equipment.

While Huawei has said it remains "open to discussions" there are several  newspaper reports that the British government might ban the purchase of new Huawei 5G equipment by the end of the year.

China's ambassador to the UK has warned that if the country got rid of Huawei, it would send out a wider message about its openness to foreign investment.

The US forbids the Chinese firm and the third parties that make its chips from using "US technology and software to design and manufacture" its products. The risk is that as a consequence Huawei would have to start sourcing chips from elsewhere, which UK security officials might not be able to properly vet.

Prime Minister Johnson could decide to go further, ordering Huawei's kit to be removed from 3G and 4G networks and even the tens of thousands of roadside cabinets it is currently sits in providing broadband connectivity.  But experts have warned that the cost of this would run into "billions of pounds" and would cause major delays to the rollout of full-fibre Internet.

Prime Mister Johnson said: "We have to come up with the right technological solutions, but also we will have to make sure that we can continue to deliver the broadband that the UK needs."

The head of the NATO military alliance has said the West could not ignore the rise of China and so it was important that the UK had had a review of the role of Huawei in its 5G network to ensure its security. Earlier this year Prime Minister Boris Johnson granted Huawei a limited role in UK's 5G mobile network, frustrating a global attempt by the US to exclude the Chinese telecoms giant from the West's next-generation communications.

When questioned about the issue, China's ambassador to the UK said the wider Chinese business community was watching to see how the UK handled the case.

With tensions rising between the countries over imposition of a new security law in the ex-colony, Hong Kong and disagreements over Chian's role in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, it seems unlikely that Huawei will restored as an approved supplier to the national network. 


NCSC:       BBC:         CNBC:       Al Jazeera:        Guardian

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