Huawei Will Supply 5G Equipment After All That Faff

The National Security Council has agreed to allow Huawei limited access to help build parts of the 5G network

The news that the United Kingdom is reportedly allowing Huawei to take part in 5G follows the Trump administration last month reportedly telling Germany that it will share less intelligence with German agencies if Chinese networking giant Huawei is allowed to provide any of the technology behind the nation's 5G mobile networks.

The ban comes despite media reports late last night that suggested Prime Minister Theresa May has given the green light to the Chinese tech giant.

It is not clear to what extent the UK's decision may have been influenced by the USA, which has been placing pressure on other countries to follow its lead in cutting out Huawei from critical infrastructure.

The US has been warning its allies that it fears Huawei might be used by the Chinese government for espionage.

Unsurprisingly, then, not everyone is happy about the decision to work with Huawei on 5G.

Huawei is the leading manufacturer of equipment for next-generation 5G mobile networks with nearly instantaneous data transfer that will become the nervous system of Europe's economy, in strategic sectors like energy, transport, banking and health care.

The decision appears to have divided the cabinet, some of whom still have significant concerns over the Huawei issue, especially given that an early verdict from GCHQ research into the company's equipment found that while there was no evidence of backdoors there was "shoddy" engineering in the equipment that was tested.

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The US has led calls to roll out a ban on the firm and has warned its allies intelligence-sharing agreements could be affected if they cooperate with Huawei.

In what some have compared to the Cold War arms race, the United States is anxious 5G dominance would give a competitor such as China an advantage Washington is not ready to accept.

Ciaran Martin, head of the cyber center of Britain's main eavesdropping agency, GCHQ, played down any threat of a rift in the Five Eyes alliance.

Huawei, founded in 1987 by a former engineer in China's People's Liberation Army, denies it is spying for Beijing, says it complies with the law and that the United States is trying to smear it because Western companies are falling behind. 5G is touted as being a far faster, more responsive, and reliable a connection - compared to previous generations, and will offer greater capacity too.

What Britain is trying to do is keep Huawei's technology away from the brain of the network, while using it in the less sensitive parts of the nervous system.

Tugendhat said it was hard to define core and non-core with 5G and that the Chinese company should not be allowed to build Britain's 5G network.

With the new 5G standard set to be at the heart of many businesses and communications, security agencies and governments should be particularly choosy over the companies that are allowed to build this network.

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