The UK government has given Huawei the green light to build non-core elements of Britain’s 5G network despite US pressures to ban the Chinese tech firm.
Despite security concerns, Huawei has been given permission to build noncritical parts of the UK’s 5G network.
However, Huawei will be banned from supplying kit to the “core” parts of the 5G network, and will be excluded from operating at sensitive sites such as nuclear and military facilities. Additionally, its share of the market will be limited to no more than 35%.
Victor Zhang, Huawei’s Vice President said he was reassured by the British government’s decision, stating: “This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.”
The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has faced pressure from the US to ban the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks, amid threats to cut intelligence-sharing ties.
However, Beijing warned the UK that banning Huawei outright would have resulted in “substantial” repercussions to other trade and investment plans.
Digital Secretary, Baroness Morgan said: “This is a UK-specific solution for UK-specific reasons and the decision deals with the challenges we face right now.
“It not only paves the way for secure and resilient networks, with our sovereignty over data protected, but it also builds on our strategy to develop a diversity of suppliers.”
Huawei has faced multiple allegations regarding its equipment being used for spying on behalf of the Chinese government, to which the firm’s founder has always denied, stating that he would rather “shut down the company down”, than aid with “any spying activities.”
Three out of four of the UK’s largest mobile carriers are understood to be already using Huawei equipment in their 5G networks.
A statement from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “Today’s decision marks a major change in the UK’s approach that will substantially improve the security and resilience of our critical telecoms networks. It will see the government roll out the most stringent set of controls ever – including new standards with tough underpinning legislation to raise the security and quality of the entire 5G and gigabit-capable networks.”