The UK allowed Huawei to take part in the build-up of its domestic 5G networks earlier this year, however, the situation concerning the Chinese telecom giant became incredibly tense later, with Washington warning London about the security risks of letting the company participate in the project.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has addressed the 5G controversy in the UK, stating there would be a new review on Huawei and 5G networks.
“I trust that the UK government will design their networks in ways that protect the networks and make sure that the UK has secure 5G networks”, Stoltenberg told BBC radio. “Therefore, also I think it is important that there now will be a new review looking at exactly how to make sure that should happen”.
He also noted that China is “coming closer to the West” and the bloc can’t ignore it.
At the same time, British operators have warned about excluding Huawei, stating it poses risks to the progress of British tech.
“The UK’s leadership in 5G will be lost if mobile operators are forced to spend time and money replacing existing equipment”, Scott Petty, chief technology officer of Vodafone UK, told the Financial Times.
Boris Johnson’s government announced last week it would work with the “five eyes” security partners (the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia) to develop alternatives to Huawei for implementing the technology.
The US and several European countries previously urged London to implement a full ban on Huawei equipment on security grounds as soon as 2023, when the cap is due to come into effect, saying the company could have “back doors”, allowing Beijing to spy on British citizens.