With regard to 5G roll out the UK government adopted a compromise position in January – allowing Huawei a limited role at the periphery of the UK’s network – in the hope of maintaining relations with both the US and China.
Those opposed to using Huawei say that reliance on its equipment would represent a national security weakness that could be exploited by China.
The US has banned the purchase of Huawei equipment and encouraged its allies to do the same. It has also increased the pressure on Huawei through sanctions (see US tightens restrictions on Huawei’s chip supply). With increased tension over how China has dealt with the west over the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK government is now coming under pressure to change its plan.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has been instructed to review the effect the measures taken by the Trump administration will have on Huawei as a credible supplier.
Switching to other suppliers such as Ericsson and Nokia would introduce additional costs.
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