Huawei will build parts of the UK's 5G network

The British prime minister overrode the objections of Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Trade Secretary Liam Fox, and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt at a meeting of the National Security Council to allow Huawei, an allegedly employee-owned Chinese telecoms giant, to develop "non-core" infrastructure for the 5G network, according to The Telegraph.

The United States has however banned Huawei's 5G technology from its territory and urged allies in the so-called Five Eyes intelligence sharing collective - which also includes Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand - to follow suit.

The Australian government agrees, warning that there are "serious concerns over Huawei's obligations to the Chinese government and the danger that poses to the integrity of telecommunications networks in the USA and elsewhere".

Earlier the media reported a decision on Huawei would be made in the spring, and the company's market share would capped at 50%.

Prime Minister Theresa May has given a big thumbs-up to Huawei's involvement in rolling out our 5G network, as long as it's not allowed to do the "core" bits.

Britain will allow Huawei Technologies a restricted role in building parts of its 5G network, seeking a middle way in a bitter dispute between the United States and China over the next generation of communications technology.

In keeping with the government's position over the last few years, no Huawei equipment will be installed in the core of any of British mobile network operator's setup.

He said he had been told by one of those agencies that it was hard to distinguish between core and non-core activities involving 5G because of the speed and capability of the system.

In what some have compared to the Cold War arms race, the United States is anxious 5G dominance would give any global competitor such as China an advantage Washington is not ready to accept. A spokeswoman said: "We don't comment on NSC discussions".

Ciaran Martin, head of the cyber center of Britain's main eavesdropping agency, GCHQ, played down any threat of a rift in the Five Eyes alliance.

"There's a reason others have said no", he said.

Huawei has denied these allegations, saying there was no proof, and that its work is as secure as anyone's.

We are investing £3 billion over five years to help the United Kingdom to remain internationally competitive as the US, South Korea, Germany and other nations build their 5G systems.

Huawei's equipment is either not present or is being stripped out of existing core networks in Britain, but is widely used in existing lower risk parts such as radio masts. "The problem with therefore having Huawei running our infrastructure is that it undermines that trust".

Amid concerns about the company's security, and its possible links to the Chinese government, Huawei has been banned from providing essential parts of the UK's 5G network.


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