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The UK government took a radical step by announcing a ban on the Chinese tech giant, Huawei manufactured equipment on Tuesday at Britain’s National Security Council. Purchasing Huawei’s gears and components for the development of the 5G network will be stopped from the end of 2020, and telecom operators have received directives to completely remove the Huawei equipment from the 5G network by 2027.
Huawei, one of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, is associated with above 170 countries. Recently, Huawei is facing a ban and restrictions from several nations, though they have a significant role in the development of 5G technology and the 5G network.
Read: Is 5G better than 4G?
The British Government decided on banning Huawei, following a strict pressure from Trump administration to ban Huawei completely. The allegations of the US government towards Huawei took a dramatic u-turn when the UK followed the sanctions imposed by the US government. The UK government shared the same reasons as the US citing national security concerns to ban Huawei.
The China-based company, Huawei allegedly uses its equipment to spy on other countries with the help of China government, which Huawei has been continuously denying. But, for the sake of national security, UK barred the telecom operators from buying gears and components for the 5G network from Huawei. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) implied the highly restrictive US sanctions refer security of Huawei’s equipment to be of high risk.
Digital Secretary, Mr. Oliver Dowden expressed the decision to ban Huawei with its consequences, saying that the UK would probably face a downfall of £2bn and a delay of 2-3 years for 5G rollout.
The British Government is not the only one to ban Huawei. The US extended the Huawei equipment restriction order to 2021, and recently India prohibited the use and purchase of China-made telecom gears/equipment and some Chinese apps. Several countries are considering the association with Huawei as the security risk so, the list may increase in the future. As per many experts, the Huawei ban seems to be more of a political issue than the security concerns that those countries are actually referring to.
Huawei is a huge contributor to building 5G technology standards and roll out 5G networks in several countries. Banning Huawei has a direct effect on the economy and the development of the most-awaited 5G network. Bearing a huge loss and that too after the daunting effect of coronavirus pandemic, the government of these nations should instead need to talk and come up with a solution without compromising either the national security and the development of 5G technology.
Michael MacDonald, Chief Digital Officer at Huawei Asia Pacific writes an article about the US position on 5G technology and Huawei as Is US interest in 5G really about 5G?
Edward Brewster, Spokesperson of Huawei UK urged to reconsider the decision as it will bring digital slow lane and massive bills. He further added that a detailed review of the decision will be conducted as the decision seemed more about the US trade friction with China than national security concerns. He also put forward their commitment to continue working on better connected Britain.
Edward Brewster, Spokesperson of Huawei UK expresses, “This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone. It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills, and deepen the digital divide. Instead of ‘leveling up’ the government is leveling down and we urge them to reconsider. We remain confident that the new US restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply to the UK.
Regrettably, our future in the UK has become politicized, this is about US trade policy and not security. Over the past 20 years, Huawei has focused on building the better-connected UK. As a responsible business, we will continue to support our customers as we have always done. We will conduct a detailed review of what today’s announcement means for our business here and will work with the UK government to explain how we can continue to contribute to a better-connected Britain.”
The UK follows the footstep of the US and bans Huawei. The British government also decides to get rid of the existing Huawei goods on the 5G technology building project by 2027. As a result, the development of a 5G network there could be jeopardized. Citing security concerns, countries are hesitant to associate Huawei to their telecommunication network, though Huawei plays a pivotal part in developing 5G technology.
Read: Do we need 5G in Nepal?
Do you think Huawei really poses a security threat, or the UK government made a mistake by banning Huawei? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.