Huawei was granted a limited role in Britain’s 5G mobile network on Tuesday by UK’s Prime minister Boris Johnson. This move was against the will of the United States to exclude the Chinese telecom’s services from the next generation communication of the West.
Huawei was founded in 1987 by a former People’s Liberation Army engineer.
Johnson, on the eve of Brexit, announced that Huawei will be allowed into the non-sensitive parts of the 5G network. This decision was made by defying their long term ally and favoring China. The company is still considered as a high-risk vendor and will be excluded from the sensitive core of the 5G network where data are processed. They will also be banned from places like military bases and nuclear sites.
The US was concerned about the secrets of the West being stolen through Huawei, but the rejection of these concerns by the UK was welcomed by the Chinese firm.
A series of statements were made by both the governments before and after this announcement. The two presidents (Trump and Johnson) exchanged words through phone regarding the same. The British government said that “ The Prime Minister underlined the importance of like-minded countries working together to diversify the market and break the dominance of a small number of companies”.
But the Trump administration officials had said before the call that there is no safe option for an untrusted vendor to control any part of the 5G network. “We look forward to working with the UK on a way forward that results in the exclusion of untrusted vendor components from 5G networks” , they added.
Britain’s argument for taking such a decision is that the fast network and high capacity of the 5G network would improve the industrial and economic growth.\ and excluding Huawei from the list would have delayed 5G and cost the consumers more.
However, the US congress leaders are highly criticizing Britain for the deal and also says it will complicate any new trade agreements after they exit from the EU on Jan 31st.
The United States is worried that the 5G dominance by China will be a milestone for their technological supremacy which could define the Geopolitics of the 21st century. Canada says that it is studying the effects of Britain’s decision as they have not yet decided whether to allow the Huawei 5G technology in their country.
The US had warned London about the security risks of allowing Huawei into 5G saying that the distinction between core and edge will blur once the data starts processing through 5G and will be difficult to overcome security issues.
Huawei has responded to all these saying that the US wants to cripple their growth because none of the US companies are able to offer the same technology at such a competitive rate. Huawei has made large investments to become the market leaders in technology. In spite of being excluded from the US, they have succeeded in being the world’s biggest producers of telecom equipment. Other large companies in the field are Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia. Huawei has spent $15billion on research last year and is ready to spend 3 billion pounds in Brittain.
Britain said that this decision protected national security while at the same time delivering world-class connectivity. “How we construct our 5G and full fiber public telecoms networks have nothing to do with how we will share classified data,” the British foreign secretary Dominic Raab said. He added that intelligence sharing will not be put at risk. The cybersecurity officials of Britain has put on special measures to deal with the risk.
Granting of limited 5G role to Huawei is considered a calculated compromise by the British officials which could be presented to Washington as a tough restriction while accepted by British operators.