After several months of pressure from the U.S., British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seems ready to completely ban the use of Huawei equipment in British 5G networks – this was reported by the Financial Times. Citing national security concerns, members of the British conservative party insist on excluding Huawei technologies from the 5G infrastructure and other telecommunication networks of the country by 2023.
Donald Trump’s administration has long prohibited the government from using Huawei technologies, and in May last year, the U.S. president signed an order prohibiting U.S. companies from buying telecommunications equipment of foreign manufacture that could pose a threat to the national security of the United States. The order does not single out any companies, but is seen as a way to close the U.S. market to Chinese companies such as ZTE and Huawei. Last week the ban was extended until May 2021.
The U.S. claims that Huawei can embed special vulnerabilities in its network infrastructure to facilitate the spy efforts of the Chinese government. This accusation by Huawei has been repeatedly denied, but the sanctions against the Chinese telecommunications giant are gradually increasing.
Donald Trump reportedly called Boris Johnson earlier this year to encourage Britain to abandon Huawei equipment. Also a member of the U.S. Congress said the country was going to reduce its cooperation with the United Kingdom in the field of intelligence exchange, if the latter does not abandon Chinese telecommunication solutions.
Boris Johnson has previously banned the use of Huawei equipment in key and most vulnerable parts of UK 5G networks. In January he stressed that the country does not have many other options to deploy 5G infrastructure. And Vodafone said it would be extremely costly to remove Huawei equipment from its networks. But the U.S. arguments have obviously proved to be weightier.