Editor, IFSEC Global

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James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading resource for security and fire news in the industry. James was previously Editor of Professional Heating & Plumbing Installer magazine.
January 28, 2020

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Huawei set to continue role in UK 5G network, but with limits

The decision was made to continue to allow Huawei to play a role in the UK’s 5G networks, but with restrictions, due to potential cyber security concerns over the Chinese technology firm.

In particular, the restrictions will include supplying kit to “sensitive parts” of the network related to critical infrastructure, known as the core, while Huawei will only be allowed to account for 35% of the kit in a network’s periphery.

Huawei-5GNetwork-20The decision was made at a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Tuesday 28th January, despite calls from the United States to place an ‘outright ban’ on the firm, with reports that various Conservative MPs had also called for a block. A Whitehall source has commented: “Our world-leading cyber-security experts know more about Huawei that any country in the world – and they are satisfied that with our tough approach and regulatory regime, any risks can be managed.”

Huawei technology is already in use for the UK’s 4G network, with a report from The Guardian indicating that government officials had “feared banning the provider could have delayed 5G rollout by two to three years… and dented economic growth”.

Victor Zhang, Huawei’s Vice-President, has commented: “Huawei is reassured by the UK Government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G rollout on track.”

“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.”

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[…] existing ban on Huawei from the most sensitive ‘core’ elements of the 5G may even stay – a call made earlier this 12 […]