UK government keeps Huawei opposers at bay - Mobile World Live

UK government keeps Huawei opposers at bay

10 MAR 2020

The UK government successfully opposed a proposal by MPs which pushed for the removal of Huawei’s involvement in the country’s 5G networks by the start of 2023, BBC News reported.

A rebellion backed by a number of senior MPs within the ruling Conservative party and led by its former leader Iain Duncan Smith, proposed Huawei equipment be stripped out of UK operator networks, in an amendment to the Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill.

The amendment proposed a ban on any companies classified as “high-risk vendors” by the National Cyber Security Centre entirely from 5G networks by 31 December 2022.

However, the rebellion ultimately failed as the government defeated the proposal by 24 votes.

Untrusted vendors.
The UK government ruled in January Huawei could continue to supply equipment in non-sensitive parts of mobile networks, but its presence would be limited to 35 per cent in the access side, while it would be shut out from the core.

However, a large group of MPs opposed the clearance.

Duncan Smith said the country had got itself “far too bound into a process in which we are reliant on untrusted vendors”.

He continued to state the Chinese government had spent more than 20 years undercutting other technology companies, until Huawei secured a dominant position.

To address the concerns, the government had promised to debate the points later this year, while adding it was committed to working with its Five Eyes security partners, including the US, on finding alternative solutions to Huawei.

However, without a set date in place to hold the debate, a rebellion vote to the government was pushed forward.

In total, 282 MPs voted in favour of the amendment, while 306 voted against.

Responding to the vote, Huawei VP Victor Zhang stated: “The government has examined the evidence and concluded that Huawei should not be banned on cyber security grounds and two parliamentary committees have done the same and agreed. An evidence-based approach is needed, so we were disappointed to hear some groundless accusations asserted. The industry and experts agree that banning Huawei equipment would leave Britain less secure, less productive and less innovative.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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