Huawei to be permitted in ‘non-core’ 5G networks

Huawei to be permitted in 'non-core' 5G networks

The government is set to give the green light for equipment made by Chinese manufacturer Huawei to be used in the country's 5G networks, although the firm will be banned from the most critical parts of the country's communications infrastructure.

Prime minister Theresa May has ruled that Huawei's technology will only be permitted in 'non-core' areas, such as antennas, following a meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday (April 23rd), it has been reported.

However, this decision is said to have been taken over the objections of several senior ministers, who are concerned the restrictions do not go far enough and that allowing Huawei technology into even non-critical parts of key infrastructure networks still poses a significant security risk.

Home secretary Sajid Javid, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and defence secretary Given Williamson were all reported to have argued in favour of a total ban on the Chinese firm's technology.

Although Huawei has always denied being controlled by the Chinese government and insists its technology cannot be used for espionage or to disrupt communications services, several countries have raised recently concerns about the firm's closeness to Beijing, with the US among the nations to restrict usage of the company's equipment.

While Huawei welcomed the decision, saying it is "pleased that the UK is continuing to take an evidence-based approach to its work" there have been warnings that the concessions made to allow it into non-core parts of the network will be difficult to enforce.

Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that 5G involves an "internet system that can genuinely connect everything, and therefore the distinction between non-core and core is much harder to make".

However, the move may also be welcomed by mobile operators, as they have previously warned that a blanket ban on Huawei technology would significantly slow down the rollout of 5G services throughout the UK.