US senators urge Canada to 'ban' Huawei from 5G deployment

Two US senators have urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban his country’s mobile operators from using Huawei network equipment in their 5G rollouts.

Senators Mark Warner of the Democrats and Marco Rubio of the Republicans both sit on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and are known as critics of China.

They wrote to Trudeau citing their concerns, believing that the use of Huawei equipment in its nearest neighbour and close ally’s telecommunications infrastructure would be a danger to US national security.

Huawei Canada

“While Canada has strong telecommunications security safeguards in place, we have serious concerns that such safeguards are inadequate given what the United States and other allies know about Huawei,” Reuters reports the letter as stating.

The telecommunications equipment manufacturer has been virtually frozen out of the US market because its kit is believed to be a national security risk due to perceived links with the Chinese government.

The US fears that Huawei equipment could have backdoors that would facilitate Chinese espionage – allegations that the company has continually denied. It argues that it generates 60 per cent of its revenues outside China and sells products to more than 500 operators in 170 countries without issue – including to some smaller US networks.

Its equipment will be used to deliver 5G in the UK and Huawei is now the world’s second biggest manufacturer of smartphones with its recent P20 flagship receiving considerable critical acclaim.

It hasn’t given up hope of cracking the US market, however. Earlier this month it urged US authorities to reconsider the effective ban on its equipment in the country, claiming that the current measures will ultimately delay the rollout of 5G.

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.