US Increases Pressure To Stop Huawei 5G In Britain

The US government has said it does not believe UK’s decision to allow Huawei to play a role in the rollout of 5G will be final and will continue to place pressure on the country to change its mind. However so far the UK has decided to let Huawei continue to be used in its 5G networks but with restrictions, despite pressure from the US to block the firm.

The Chinese firm will be banned from supplying equipmnet to "sensitive parts" of the UK network and it will only be allowed to account for 35% of the equipmnet in a network's periphery, which includes radio masts. Huawei will also be excluded from areas near military bases and nuclear sites.

Huawei UK 5G

Huawei is a key supplier for all four major UK operators but its future role had been uncertain due to fears the use of its kit constituted a national security risk, a view pushed and shared by the US. America has placed significant pressure on its allies, despite not providing any evidence to support its claims. The company has persistently denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

However, America's top cyber-security official has warned that the Trump administration has not given up on its fight to stop the UK using Huawei for its 5G networks. Robert Strayer, the US deputy assistant secretary for cyber and communications, said he did not believe the government's decision to give the Chinese firm limited access was final and warned that allowing Huawei in would threaten intelligence sharing between the US and UK.

US diplomats have been reinforcing the Trump administration's message that Huawei has close ties with the Chinese Communist Party and poses a security threat. 

Huawei has been active in publicising its success in winning 5G contracts, claiming its equipment was more advanced than that of its rivals. The controversial Chinese firm revealed that it had won 91 5G contracts, up from 65 in December with 47 of Huawei's commercial 5G customers are in Europe, despite the pressure on operators by the US to steer clear of the company.

The other big players in 5G equipment in Europe are Finland's Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson, while in the United States the South Korean giant Samsung is also a major supplier. In an interview with the BBC, Paul Scanlan, chief technology officer of Huawei's carrier business group, said he was confident that his company's equipment was in the lead, both in sales and in its technical standards. He claimed that Huawei's spending on research and development had given it that lead. As an example, he explained that Huawei's founder Ren Zheng Fei had told his R&D team they must reduce the weight of their 5G radio equipment from 45kg to 25kg so that it could be installed without a crane.

Diplomats insist that the United States would keep talking to the UK about this issue and they are confident that they would find a way forward. Operators had argued innovation would decrease and costs would rise if they were barred from Huawei’s 5G gear and it appears as though the government eventually decided there was no alternative.

Last month it was confirmed that Huawei equipment could be used in the radio layer of 5G networks but not in sensitive areas like the core, effectively preserving the status quo. However, Huawei equipment is subject to a 35 per cent cap. Despite the continuing controversey, Huawei is pushing ahead with its 5G strategy and claims that is 12-18 months ahead of its nearest competitors​. 

BBC:        BBC:       Techradar:     Advanced-Televison:        SiaSat:      Metro

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