The Telegraph reports Britain plans to phase out Huawei gear for 5G networks, starting as soon as sometime in 2020:
Boris Johnson is poised to begin phasing out the use of Huawei technology in Britain’s 5G network as soon as this year, in a major about-turn, The Telegraph can disclose.
GCHQ is understood to have revised its previous assurance that the risks posed by the Chinese technology giant can be safely managed.
A report due to be presented to the Prime Minister this week is expected to conclude that new US sanctions on Huawei will force the company to use untrusted technology that could make the risk impossible to control.
The United States has labeled Huawei as a national security threat, citing ties to the Chinese Communist Party and military.
Huawei responded to the report to say, “Huawei is the most scrutinised vendor in the world and we firmly believe our unrivalled transparency in the UK means we can continue to be trusted to play a part in Britain’s gigabit upgrade. It’s important to focus on facts and not to speculate at this time.”
Originally in January, Johnson approved Huawei to build out parts of Britain’s 5G network. A meeting of the National Security Council is expected, then for the Prime Minister to announce the new changes later in July.
The United Kingdom, along with Australia, New Zealand and the United States are part of the Five Eyes network, including Canada. The decision by Britain to ban Huawei 5G gear puts further pressure on Canada to do the same, as a partner in the intelligence alliance.
In Canada, the federal government has not publicly stated whether or not it will ban Huawei from 5G networks. Rogers, Telus and Bell have already shunned Huawei 5G gear, as some suspect Canada will eventually follow suit like its allies in banning the Chinese company from 5G networks.
Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wenzhou, also the daughter of the company’s founder, was arrested in Canada back in December 2018 and currently is undergoing a U.S. extradition hearing. Shortly after her arrest, the Chinese government retaliated and arrested two Canadian men, still being held captive in a Chinese jail with no consular access.