The British government said Tuesday that it will allow China’s Huawei to help build the country’s next generation of super-fast wireless networks, a decision that could undermine trade and intelligence ties with the United States. The announcement follows months of public debate in the United Kingdom over how to respond to concerns raised by the US government.
UK mobile operators will be able to use Huawei equipment in their 5G networks but the company will be excluded from “security-critical” core areas, according to a statement from the government. Huawei already has a significant presence in UK wireless networks and has been operating under supervision by government security agencies since 2003.
Speaking about this announcement, Victor Zhang, the Vice President at Huawei, said, “Huawei is reassured by the UK government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track. This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.”
“We have supplied cutting-edge technology to telecoms operators in the UK for more than 15 years. We will build on this strong track record, supporting our customers as they invest in their 5G networks, boosting economic growth and helping the UK continue to compete globally. We agree a diverse vendor market and fair competition are essential for network reliability and innovation, as well as ensuring consumers have access to the best possible technology,” concluded Zhang.