Should Huawei be part of our 5G network?
The UK Government’s decision to allow Huawei to be part of its 5G network has caused a global row over cyber-security.
The concern is that it could give Huawei - a Chinese multi-national technology company and the world's second-largest smartphone supplier – the capacity to spy on the UK or disrupt its communications during any future disputes with China.
The US claim Huawei could be used by China for spying via its 5G equipment and has banned American firms from doing business with the company. The US wants its allies to ban it from their 5G networks and have already hinted that the UK Government’s decision may affect UK-US trade talks and future security co-operation between the two countries.
However, the UK Government insists there will be restrictions and that Huawei will be banned from supplying kit to ‘the core’- the sensitive parts of the network, where voice and other data is routed.
Many countries are preparing to move from 4G to more advanced 5G mobile networks, which will speed up downloads and radically change how we work and communicate. According to the BBC, the UK has been using Huawei’s equipment since 2005 and it cannot just not just ‘rip up’ the existing 4G infrastructure. This would cost a fortune and risk delaying 5G for years.