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Huawei 5G: why UK may disobey US

IT News Nigeria:

Stakes are high with billions of dollars and advance tech on the table as increasingly assertive UK will by the end of this month reach a decision whether to allow Huawei to supply some “non-core” parts for the UK network.

But the “master” US has warned the British government it “would be madness” to use Huawei technology in the UK’s 5G network following a  visit led by US delegation led by deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger in London yesterday.

But such a gloomy prediction does not agree with the British intelligence community. For example, the head of MI5 Andrew Parker is quoted as telling the Financial Times in the recent interview that he had “no reason to think” the intelligence sharing agreement between the UK and the US would be in any danger if the British government refused to shut the door for Huawei.

Furthermore, there are concerns that UK may bight itself on the foot and halt its own tech development if it bars Huawei from market.

“Banning Huawei means back-pedaling for Britain,” Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming wrote in an article in the Sunday Telegraph. “Quite aside from the protectionist blow that such a move would strike, economic globalisation remains an irreversible trend of our times.”

Xiaoming recalled that several British telecom operators had already admitted that turning away Huawei equipment would delay Britain’s 5G, “leaving it trailing far behind in this latest industrial revolution” as the Shenzhen-based company is one of the global leaders in 5G.

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British provider Three UK, a subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings, uses Huawei within its radio access network as it considers its tech the most advanced for 5G deployment. In June, the firm’s director of network strategy Phil Sheppard said that Huawei’s equipment could be used for the ultra-fast network launch later this year.

Meanwhile Vodafone UK warned that banning Huawei equipment would have dramatic consequences as even replacement of an existing 4G station can cost millions and further slow 5G deployment.

Huawei has been making vast investments in the UK, bringing £2 billion (US$2.6 billion) to the country from 2012 to 2017 and promising to pour £3 billion in the next several years. That would be thrown out of the window should UK cow under US pressures.

Huawei says it has secured more than 50 commercial contracts for 5G, with more than half of them in Europe.

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