The digital minister Nicky Morgan said that Britain will make a decision about whether to allow China’s Huawei equipment to used in its 5G network upgrade by autumn, referring to the season that marks the transition from summer to winter.
“We will make the right decision for the UK. I would hope we could do something by the autumn. We’ve got to make sure that this is going to be a decision for the log term, making sure that we keep all our networks secure,” she told the BBC Radio.
There has been a rigmarole between Huawei and the UK concerning upgrading the country’s 5G network since the Trump led administration launched a campaign against China, urging allies to do likewise.
The US in May placed Huawei in an entity list alongside 68 related companies that bans American companies from supplying components to them, citing national security concerns. The US claimed that Huawei could spy on them via their equipment, a claim that the Chinese tech has repeatedly denied. In fact, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson had discussed the issue of security as a major concern during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France.
“Huawei are not involved in the provision of government networks and that’s absolutely going to stay the same way, but we will look at all circumstances.”
The US later issued a temporary license, a permission for a restricted number of companies to continue supporting Huawei networks and devices. The trump led campaign against China delayed the government’s decision to rollout 5G. The UK government had said that an all-out ban on US firms working with the Chinese company meant that its products which use some American components would be unreliable in the long run.
Theresa May, the previous Prime Minister had sealed a decision to proceed with the upgrade but to block the firm from all critical parts over security concerns, but still give it minimal access to less sensitive parts. This was supposed to be confirmed within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport but for a delay that ensued.
The report was however published before Boris Johnson took charge with the matter unresolved.
Jeremy Wright, former culture secretary said the US ban had affected the decision to rollout 5G network in the UK because the implication on the US ban was unclear and it would be a rash decision to decide a case revolving around an unsettled matter. Huawei will be waiting to hear from the UK government towards the end of the year.