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24 April 2019

Worries as Huawei given role in UK’s 5G network

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
Alarm has been expressed by MPs over the UK government’s decision to allow Chinese firm Huawei to work on the UK’s 5G network.

Prime minister Theresa May has banned Huawei from supplying ‘core’ parts of the country’s 5G infrastructure – but is believed to have given the green light for it to help deliver what are being called ‘non-core’ parts.

As well as being for mobile phones, 5G is the technology which will be used to improve connectivity of autonomous vehicles and traffic controls.

However, there are worries that Huawei, despite being a private company, may have links to the Chinese government which could potentially pose a security risk if the firm is heavily involved in the UK’s networking infrastructure.

Tom Tugendhat, chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee, is among several senior MPs to voice these concerns.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The reality is we are talking about a system here that will need constant upgrading, and every time you do that you’ve got to open up the system to your technology partner to make sure it works.”

He added that Hauwei was obliged to adhere to Chinese law: “That does mean it is unwise to cooperate on an area of critical national infrastructure like telecoms with a state that can best be described as not always friendly.”

Other countries, including the US, Australia and New Zealand, appear to have taken a harder line over Huawei’s involvement in their own internal infrastructure.

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