Menu
UK's new PM must take 5G decision on Huawei urgently: committee

UK's new PM must take 5G decision on Huawei urgently: committee

The United States has told allies not to use Huawei's technology

The new prime minister must take a decision on whether to include China's Huawei in Britain's 5G telecoms network urgently as the ongoing debate is damaging international relations, a powerful committee of UK lawmakers said on Friday.

Britain's National Security Council, chaired by outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May, met to discuss Huawei in April and a decision was made to block the telecoms giant from all critical parts of the 5G network but to give it restricted access to less sensitive parts.

However, the United States has told allies not to use Huawei's technology as it fears the company could be used by Beijing for spying operations. Conversely, China has warned Britain that excluding the firm could hurt investment and trade.

The final decision on Huawei was already supposed to have been taken by the British government but May's decision to step down has stalled the process. Her replacement, either foreign minister Jeremy Hunt or former London mayor Boris Johnson who is the frontrunner, will be installed next week.

"The new prime minister must take a decision as a matter of priority," said Dominic Grieve, chairman of parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC).

In a statement, the ISC said Britain's cyber security chiefs had been clear that the issue was not about one country or company, but that the system had to be able to withstand any attack, malicious action or simple human error.

It said this was best achieved by diversifying suppliers and the issue at the moment for 5G was that there were only three firms in the running - Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson. Over-dependence and less competition resulted in lower security standards, it said.

"Therefore including a third company - even if you may have some security concerns about them and will have to set a higher bar for security measures within the system - will, counter-intuitively, result in higher overall security," the ISC said.

However, the committee acknowledged that the decision was not just technical and that the government had to take into account political concerns and so should not do anything to jeopardize the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance of the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

It argued that China would understand if Huawei were excluded as Beijing would not allow a British company to play a role in its critical national infrastructure.

"Such an important decision therefore requires careful consideration," the ISC statement said. "However, the extent of the delay is now causing damage to our international relationships: a decision must be made as a matter of urgency."

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags TelecommunicationsHuawei5G

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2019: Thought leaders share how to build a channel of the future

EDGE 2019: Thought leaders share how to build a channel of the future

Day 2 of EDGE was opened by in-depth research from TRA's Tim Dillon, which outlined the partner view on the channel's future. The following day saw Forrester's Jay McBain and Odgers Berndtson's Tim Sleep conclude the keynote line-up, while HPE and Cisco rounded off the thought leadership.

EDGE 2019: Thought leaders share how to build a channel of the future
Tech credentials on show during Ingram Micro One APAC

Tech credentials on show during Ingram Micro One APAC

Ingram Micro outlined the key technologies for future channel growth on the second day of Ingram Micro One APAC in Singapore, in front of more than 1300 business leaders.

Tech credentials on show during Ingram Micro One APAC
EDGE 2019: Dinner Under the Stars

EDGE 2019: Dinner Under the Stars

After an intensive day of keynotes, breakout sessions and networking, 300 delegates donned their whitest gladrags and unwinded at Edge's customary Dinner Under the Stars at Outrigger Marquee. Photos by: Christine Wong.

EDGE 2019: Dinner Under the Stars
Show Comments