Huawei, the major telecommunications giant, is looking at getting a share of the UK’s 5G market, though Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already suggested imposing a cap on it.
Huawei won’t be providing the key infrastructure – only certain components of lesser significance, such as the antennas, rooftop-based stations, etc.
The US, however, has proposed an outright ban, which would resemble the situation that played out in Australia.
There is a lingering question of national security versus the competitive landscape of 5G.
In other words, playing it safe would mean reducing the market to the following two competitors: Ericsson (Sweden) and Nokia (Finland).
According to Dexter Thillien, an analyst from Fitch Solutions, three of the UK’s big carriers (Vodafone, EE and Three) rely on Huawei completely, so cutting it out would mean restricting the consumers’ choice.
He believes that three is better than two, and a situation characterised by a lack of competition is to be avoided.
To address the security concerns, Vodafone stated that Huawei is not a part of its core, and furthermore, there are additional layers of security and encryption between Huawei and the masts.
Three has decided to go with the government’s decision, while EE has not left a comment yet.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed out another issue: only the countries that can protect their data can keep their sovereignty intact.
The US administration has made a clear point: the use of Huawei’s gear would impose a risk on UK intelligence sharing.
With a potential ‘back door’ that could result in a data-leaking disaster, no one knows what is in store for the relationship between the two English-speaking countries.
Huawei, on the other hand, denies any such spying allegations.
The UK is yet to make a decision regarding the matter.