Huawei helping Britain with 5G network in spite of security concerns

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In recent months several concerns have been raised, mainly by officials in the United States, over the potential security threat that Huawei poses in terms of rolling out 5G networks for countries outside of China.

It’s something that Huawei has vehemently denied, even taking legal action against the US over the claims. It also has not halted the firm’s progress in other regions of the globe, with Europe and Britain being areas where it has re-doubled its efforts.

That said there has been some push back, with concerns raised over potential state-sponsored hacking or spying resulting from the use of Huawei technology for key 5G infrastructure.

This has not stopped the United Kingdom, however, with prime minister Theresa May signing an order allowing the Chinese firm to assist with non-core aspects of the country’s 5G infrastructure, according to The Telegraph (paywall).

This decision was agreed upon by the UK’s National Security Council, which May heads up, but has received widespread criticism from politicians, citing similar concerns to that of their US counterparts.

Namely that the surreptitious nature of Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government leaves the UK open to cyberattacks or forms of espionage.

That said, there has been little proof to corroborate such claims, even after Germany completed its own cybersecurity investigation into the company and its 5G hardware.

Still several officials in the UK, including the head of the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) Jeremy Fleming, have warned about the threat posed by foreign agencies. Fleming has also issued similar warnings to the likes of New Zealand, Canada and Australia, the latter of which has banned new Huawei technology from its borders in recent months.

Provided Huawei is not responsible for core aspects of Britain’s 5G network, however, it appears as if the UK’s plan for the latest broadband standard will feature some hardware from the Chinese manufacturer.

When it comes to the local outlook on Huawei, South African officials and carriers have proved more than willing to work with the Chinese firm, but the rollout of our own 5G networks is still up in the air while we await spectrum availability.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.