MPs have concluded that there is no technical reason why Huawei should be excluded from the UK telecom infrastructure, but have suggested that there are ethical and political reasons for a ban.
Huawei has been effectively frozen from the US telecom market for a long time because of the fear that its equipment is a national security risk, allegations it has constantly denied.
Last month American companies had to stop doing business with the company, which means that future handsets may no longer receive updates for the Android operating system from Google or have access to the popular applications. The actions of the US government also make it considerably more difficult for Huawei to purchase components for its devices.
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However, Huawei is an important supplier of radio equipment for all four major UK operators. America is forcing allies to take the lead, despite the absence of any evidence to suggest any offense by Huawei, and the UK is conducting its own assessment.
A report is expected to appear in the spring, but this has not yet happened. Leaks suggested that operators should not use the Huawei kit in the radio layer of their networks, but this has yet to be confirmed.
In a letter to the government, the parliamentary science and technology committee said that operators did not believe that Huawei's kit was less secure and that a ban would give networks less leverage to demand higher security standards from other suppliers.
It was also concerned that there would be less competition on the market and that no evidence of vulnerabilities had ever been provided. It did, however, argue for a formal ban on Huawei gear in the core layer of the network – a measure that the layman's report would suggest.
"We have found no evidence that the complete exclusion of Huawei from UK telecommunications networks is technically a proportionate response to the potential security threat from foreign suppliers," said Norman Lamb. , Chairman of the committee.
However, the committee has suggested that a ban could be in the best interests of the UK given the deteriorating relationship between London and Washington. The US has previously suggested that it could limit intelligence sharing if Huawei plays a role in the rollout of 5G in the UK.
"The conclusion is limited to technical considerations," Lamb continued. "There may be geopolitical or ethical grounds for the government to issue a ban on Huawei's equipment."
"We take note of the main conclusion of the letter from the Science and Technology Committee, which states:" There are no technical reasons to completely exclude Huawei from the 5G or other telecommunications networks in the UK. "Says Victor Zhang, president of Global Affairs at Huawei.
"And it also says:" We have found no evidence of our work to suggest that the complete exclusion of Huawei from the UK telecommunications networks would be a proportionate response from a technical point of view. "
"We are reassured that the UK, unlike others, uses a fact-based approach to network security. Huawei complies with laws and regulations in all markets where we operate."
Canada is another country that is considering the role of Huawei in its telecom infrastructure. A vote on the subject was expected in the near future, but Reuters says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not going to continue until relations with China improve.
The country is currently in the process of extraditing Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in December, to the US, where she is faced with allegations of fraud. Two Canadians have been detained by China after allegations of espionage, claimed by Ottawa to be "random", while Beijing has blocked imports of some Canadian goods.
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