Huawei to be given "limited" role in UK 5G

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Huawei is set to be granted a limited role in building the UK's 5G infrastructure, government sources have revealed.

The Chinese giant will be barred from accessing the UK's core network, which hosts much of the data, as well as being blocked from government systems.

However even this may not be enough to appease the US, which has long accused Huawei of attempting to spy on Western powers using its technology.


Reuters has published claims from two sources that say the recommendation was made at a meeting of officials from senior government departments.

The sources added that the recommendations come days before the National Security Council is set to meet in order to decide how to deploy Huawei equipment.

“The technical and policy guidance hasn’t changed,” one source told Reuters. “Now it is down to a political calculation.”

The decision is similar to that made last year by former Prime Minister Theresa May, with a spokesman for current prime minister Boris Johnson saying, “The work on the issue of high risk vendors in the 5G network remains ongoing and when it is completed it will be announced to parliament.”

Huawei has yet to comment on the news, but the company has repeatedly been force to deny allegations that its infrastructure could be used for illegal spying and surveillance. 

The news comes hours after Business minister Andrea Leadsom confirmed that government discussions with Huawei had come to a head, with one of the main sticking points being a lack of viable alternatives to Huawei's expertise.

The UK is set to make a final public decision on whether to allow Huawei to build its 5G infrastructure by the end of the month.

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Via Reuters

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.