Huawei has asked the UK Government to continue to maintain its involvement in the roll-out of 5G in the country after Conservative backbenchers threatened to oppose Boris Johnson’s acceptance of its supply of non-core elements in Britain’s 5G network.
In January, Johnson said that Huawei could have a “limited role” in providing 5G, banning the company from supplying kit to sensitive parts of the network and capping its involvement at 35%.
But the US Government and Conservative backbenchers still maintain that Huawei is a “high-risk vendor” – and a potential threat to the country’s security – with critics claiming that Huawei uses its technology to facilitate spying by the Chinese Government.
Tory backbenchers said they intend to fight the Prime Minister in the Commons in the summer to limit the company’s access, sending a letter in early April voicing their concerns.
The letter read: “Over time, we have allowed ourselves to grow dependent on China and have failed to take a strategic view of Britain’s long-term economic, technical and security needs.”
Huawei says that demands on services have increased during the coronavirus lockdown and that it is essential to keep telecoms equipment running.
Huawei’s UK chief, Victor Zhang, claims that there has been a 50% boost in home data use during the outbreak in Britain, and the company has worked with major telecoms company’s such as BT and Vodafone to continue the supply of parts to the country and deal with increased sector growth.
“We have built trust in our UK business over 20 years by helping our customers – the mobile network operators – provide consumers with affordable, reliable calls and data,” he commented.
“Despite this, there has been groundless criticism from some about Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G rollout. And there are those who choose to continue to attack us without presenting any evidence.
“Disrupting our involvement in the 5G rollout would do Britain a disservice.”
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Zhang believes that the company can continue to work with the UK after COVID-19.
“When we emerge from this crisis, we look forward to continuing to play our role as a key partner in improving the networks, benefiting the economy and ultimately everyone in the UK, ending the postcode lottery of good connectivity,” he wrote.
“Right now, by keeping Britain online, we are able to play our part in helping the country through this difficult period.”