Latest in Gear

Image credit: Qin Luyao/VCG via Getty Images

UK may cut Huawei out of 5G networks this year

It would happen much sooner than expected.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 5, 2020
641 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

BEIJING, CHINA - MAY 29: A Huawei authorised experience store is pictured on May 29, 2020 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Qin Luyao/VCG via Getty Images)
Qin Luyao/VCG via Getty Images

The UK was already having second thoughts about Huawei’s involvement in its 5G networks, and now it appears ready to completely change its stance. According to The Telegraph’s sources (via The Guardian), the government is crafting proposals that would block the use of new Huawei gear in 5G networks as soon as six months from now, and would accelerate the removal of any equipment already in place. It would come after the GCHQ intelligence agency “revised” its previous belief that the country could manage any security risks from Huawei products. Stricter US sanctions blocking access to chips would force Huawei to use “untrusted” tech and make the risk impossible to manage, the newspaper said.

A report outlining the revised ideas will reportedly reach Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week. Days earlier, a spokesman said a review of the new US sanctions would be ready soon. The Mail on Sunday added that Johnson may have to present the review to Parliament by the end of July given the seriousness of the claims.

The UK had decided in January that it would allow equipment from Huawei and other “high risk” companies in non-core parts of the nation’s 5G networks, limiting their involvement to 35 percent in networks connecting devices and other hardware to mobile masts. Reports later emerged that the UK might phase out Huawei over the space of three years.

The US has maintained that Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese companies are dangerous as they could potentially help China spy on sensitive communications. Officials have been publicly reluctant to outline just what (if anything) Huawei is capable of, however, and unofficial reports of access to carrier backdoors suggested these may have been common networking tools. Huawei has maintained its innocence.

Whoever is telling the truth, this could be a further blow to Huawei’s international plans. While Huawei’s forced exit from the US wasn’t surprising, its foothold elsewhere has been relatively safe, if sometimes limited. A UK rethink would kick it out of another major market, and it wouldn’t be surprising if other US allies followed suit.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
641 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

How and where to pre-order an Xbox Series X or S

How and where to pre-order an Xbox Series X or S

View
The Apple Watch Series 6 is already discounted at Amazon

The Apple Watch Series 6 is already discounted at Amazon

View
Amazon's $500 'Prime Bike' is a connected spin bike made by Echelon

Amazon's $500 'Prime Bike' is a connected spin bike made by Echelon

View
Jabra's Elite 85t true wireless earbuds offer adjustable ANC for $229

Jabra's Elite 85t true wireless earbuds offer adjustable ANC for $229

View
HP's first Intel 11th-gen laptops use recycled ocean-bound plastics

HP's first Intel 11th-gen laptops use recycled ocean-bound plastics

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr