UK 'doesn't need to ban' Huawei 5G kit

(Image credit: Shutterstock) (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The UK will not need to ban Huawei's 5G kit, despite rumors that the company's hardware could pose a national security risk, reports have claimed.

According to the Financial Times, the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) believes it can mitigate the risks posed by Huawei's 5G network equipment without needing to ban it entirely.

The report, which quotes two unnamed NCSC sources, notes that the body believes there are ways to ensure the UK's infrastructure is protected, months after a government study suggested Huawei's processes didn't offer enough oversight.

UK Huawei ban

The decision may have wide-reaching effects across Europe, the FT suggests, noting that the UK is the only European member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, in which the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada share intelligence data. 

This position means the UK gains access to information the rest of Europe does not, adding weight to the conclusions of its security agencies, meaning the country's decision could affect security policy across the rest of the continent.

Despite today's reports, the official findings of the NCSC investigation may not be made public for some time, with a DCMS spokesperson telling the FT that the review of 5G security is "ongoing".

If true, the report goes against continued warnings from the US concerning the threat posed by Huawei to Western nations. The Trump administration has issued multiple concerns over the Chinese giant, and possible surveillance being carried out on behalf of its home government - allegations Huawei continues to deny.

However the warnings have led multiple nations to investigate or even ban the use of Huawei technology in their 5G networks, including India and Australia, which banned the company's kit last year.

In the UK, Huawei had been a key partner for many of the top operators, including EE and BT, although the latter removed all Huawei equipment from EE's 4G core network last year.

The head of MI6 had also warned against using Huawei equipment, asking whether Britain s needs to think if it's comfortable "with Chinese ownership of these technologies".

Via: Financial Times

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.