UK MPs fire China collusion accusation at Huawei - Mobile World Live

UK MPs fire China collusion accusation at Huawei

08 OCT 2020

A UK parliamentary defence committee assessing security policies related to 5G backed the government’s decision to ban use of Huawei kit, making claims of clear collusion between the vendor and the Chinese state.

The Security of 5G report echoed previously voiced concerns from authorities that the mobile operator industry’s supply chain is not diverse enough, citing the need to attract additional players to the ecosystem.

It named Samsung and NEC as potential alternatives to existing vendors, alongside pointing to the potential offered by a move to open RAN systems. Here, it set a target of making the country a global leader in development and production of related technology.

In July, the UK government made a u-turn on a previous decision to allow limited use of Huawei equipment in 5G, following severe pressure from the US.

Its latest policy imposed a ban on the purchase of Huawei kit for 5G effective the end of 2020, with operators given until 2027 to rip out any existing technology from the vendor.

In today’s report, the committee said it backed the current timescales but warned “developments could necessitate this date being moved forward, potentially to 2025 which could be considered economically feasible.”

Prior to the government’s apparent final decision, network experts from BT and Vodafone UK urged the application of realistic timescales, defined as five to seven years, to avoid service disruption.

In its findings, the committee concluded: “Our inquiry found that there is clear evidence of collusion between Huawei and the Chinese state, which supports the decision to remove them from the UK’s networks.”

Commenting on the report, a Huawei spokesperson said: “This report lacks credibility, as it is built on opinion rather than fact. We’re sure people will see through these accusations of collusion and remember instead what Huawei has delivered for Britain over the past 20 years.”

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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