US hasn't given up on UK Huawei 5G ban

(Image credit: Pixabay)

The US government has said it does not believe UK’s decision to allow Huawei to play a role in the rollout of 5G will be final and will continue to place pressure on the country to change its mind.

Robert Strayer, US deputy assistant secretary for cyber and communications, told the BBC that talks would continue and once again suggested that intelligence sharing would be under threat if the situation remained unchanged.

“Our understanding is that there might have been some initial decisions made but conversations are continuing,” Strayer is quoted as saying. “If countries adopt untrustworthy vendors in 5G technology, it will jeopardise our ability to share information at the highest levels.”

Huawei UK 5G

Huawei is a key supplier for all four major UK operators but its future role had been uncertain due to fears the use of its kit constituted a national security risk, a view pushed and shared by the US. America has placed significant pressure on its allies, despite not providing any evidence to support its claims. The company has persistently denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

Operators had argued innovation would decrease and costs would rise if they were barred from Huawei’s 5G gear and it appears as though the government eventually decided there was no alternative.

Last month it was confirmed that Huawei equipment could be used in the radio layer of 5G networks but not in sensitive areas like the core – effectively preserving the status quo. However Huawei kit is subject to a 35 per cent cap.

Despite the ongoing hostility, Huawei is pushing ahead with its 5G strategy. Earlier this week it declared it believed it was 12-18 months ahead of the likes of Ericsson and Nokia and boasted that the number of 5G contracts it has won now stands at 91 – up from 65 in December. This figure includes 47 in Europe.


Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.