The UK Close to Permitting Huawei to Undertake Non-Critical 5G Network Development

By Bill Toulas / October 28, 2019

We have come a long way since Huawei had to apply the breaks on its global 5G domination plans. It all started with the accusations about 5G equipment security risks by the United States, the backdoors that allegedly hid inside the Chinese tech giant's systems, and then spread across all of the US allies. This left countries like Canada and the UK in an awkward position, as they had already contracted Huawei, so they had to do something. The UK assigned the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) with the task of determining the risks of proceeding with Huawei, and the verdict was that the risks were manageable.

Quite a few months after that, there’s a development in the UK, as the Sunday Times reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is very close to allowing Huawei to reclaim their role in developing 5G networks in the country. The only limitation will be that the Chinese company will only be permitted into the "non-contentious" parts of the national 5G service, although there isn’t any clarification about what this would entail exactly. Most probably, Huawei will be left out of anything that is even remotely related to governmental, military, and critical energy and communication infrastructure.

As expected, this isn’t resonating well with the Trump administration, who are seeing one of their most historic strategic partners ignoring their will. However, it is important to clarify that everything is just a rumor at this point, and it’s not likely that we’ll have anything official before Christmas. All that said, none of these developments are by any means unexpected. The previous UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, was equally supportive of a carefully managed Huawei 5G infrastructure plan for the country, and Boris Johnson is very close to her politically.

Besides the effects that such a move would have on the geopolitical chessboard, it obviously affects the global 5G market, the players of which are counted on the fingers of one hand. Ericsson and Nokia are Huawei’s biggest competitors in the 5G infrastructure field right now, both of whom hoped to capture large chunks of markets where Huawei would be ostracized from. The UK is one of these markets, and admittedly a pretty important one, but as it seems, it won't be up for grabs after all. This means that Nokia and Ericsson will be forced to offer more competitive prices and incentives if they want to stand a chance in the UK, and elsewhere in the world.

Are you from the UK? Do you agree with the plan to let Huawei take part in the country’s 5G infrastructure development? Let us know of your opinion in the comments down below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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