UK minister says Huawei must meet conditions for involvement in 5G network

Smartphone and Telecoms News: UK Huawei Technologies 5G infrastructure

Huawei Technologies has clear conditions to meet for the UK to continue to allow its involvement in the development of 5G telecoms infrastructure, Britain’s Health Minister said on Sunday, after a report that the China-based business would be banned from the project.

KEY POINTS:

  • The UK government is gradually shifting its position on using Huawei Technologies as part of its 5G telecoms infrastructure
  • Boris Johnson on Tuesday changed his rhetoric on the deal and stated that he would protect critical infrastructure from what he called “hostile state vendors”
  • Assumption within Westminster is that Huawei will now be be excluded from the infrastructure build

Officials are drawing up proposals to stop installing Huawei Technologies equipment in as little as six months, the Sunday Telegraph reported, in a reversal of a decision earlier this year.

Asked about the report, the Health Minister Matt Hancock declined to comment on it specifically but said the initial recommendation had always been conditional.

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“I wouldn’t comment on leaks of that kind. What I can say is that when we came out with an interim report on this earlier in the year, there are a number of conditions that needed to be met,” he said.

“I’m sure that the National Security Council will look at those conditions, and make the right decision on this, to make sure that we have both a very strong telecoms infrastructure… but also that it is secure.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who in January allowed Huawei a limited role in Britain’s 5G network, has faced intense pressure from the United States and some UK lawmakers to ban the telecommunications equipment maker on security grounds.

THE TRAJECTORY IS CHANGING

By Tuesday of last week the Prime Minister had toughened his rhetoric on Huawei, warning China he would protect critical infrastructure from “hostile state vendors“.

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Government Ministers have also cited American sanctions as being likely to have an impact on the viability of Huawei Technologies as a 5G provider.

The Sunday Telegraph newspaper report said that the National Cyber Security Centre had changed its recommendations on Huawei as the sanctions would force the company to use technology that was not trusted.

Via our content partners at Reuters. Reporting by Alistair Smout. Editing by Elaine Hardcastle.

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