The UK government has confirmed that Huawei will be allowed a continued role in the country’s 5G rollout.
The mobile tech giant’s equipment will be banned from sensitive parts of the mobile network and will be subject to a cap.
Huawei is a major supplier for all of the four networks in the UK but has had to weather uncertain future over allegations that its equipment constitutes national security threats.
While no network has revealed any plan to use Huawei’s equipment in their network core, all, however, plans to use the tech giant’s radio kit.
UK hopes its partnership with Huawei, audaciously defiant of US recommendations will position it as a 5G leader.
Under the new rule, “high risk” vendors would be restricted from accessing critical layers of the 5G network and networks used to power critical national infrastructure or sensitive geographic locations such as military sites. Such vendors will also be limited to 35 percent of the radio layer of the network.
The government believes by contracting several vendors, its network is insulated from the challenges posed by the monopoly of a single vendor.
“We want world-class connectivity as soon as possible but this must not be at the expense of our national security,” said Digital Secretary Baroness Morgan. “High risk vendors never have been and never will be in our most sensitive networks.
“The government has reviewed the supply chain for telecoms networks and concluded today it is necessary to have tight restrictions on the presence of high risk vendors. This is a UK-specific solution for UK-specific reasons and the decision deals with the challenges we face right now.
“It not only paves the way for secure and resilient networks, with our sovereignty over data protected, but it also builds on our strategy to develop a diversity of suppliers.”
Huawei has welcomed the decision of the UK government.
“Huawei is reassured by the UK government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track,” said Victor Zhang, Vice-President, Huawei. “This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.
“We have supplied cutting-edge technology to telecoms operators in the UK for more than 15 years. We will build on this strong track record, supporting our customers as they invest in their 5G networks, boosting economic growth and helping the UK continue to compete globally.
“We agree a diverse vendor market and fair competition are essential for network reliability and innovation, as well as ensuring consumers have access to the best possible technology.”