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The Huawei conundrum

The Huawei controversy continues to rumble on and last week’s leak from the UK’s National Security Council has added an additional twist to the security storm engulfing the Chinese company, and the apparent decision by the UK government to allow it to supply some 5G equipment to help build the UK’s future telecoms network.

The decision appears to have been forced through and the US administration is set to put pressure on the UK to reconsider its position - a formal announcement from the UK isn’t expected until later in the spring once further technical safeguards have been prepared.

In Europe, the Dutch telecoms giant KPN has said that it will be selecting a “western company” to work on the core of its 5G rollout after the intervention of the US ambassador, who criticised its plans to give the contract to Huawei.

It’s a challenging conundrum for Western governments. How can they balance the perceived security threats to their networks with the effective and speedy delivery of the core network upgrades necessary for 5G?

Shouldn’t the UK be resisting pressure and making decisions independently, based on its own national interests?

Neil Tyler

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