If the United Kingdom wants to play a leading role with 5G technology for superfast mobile internet, the Chinese Huawei has an important role to play. Vodafone warned against removing the Chinese tech giant from the country’s telecom infrastructure.
According to Vodafone, it will be costly and unnecessary for mobile operators to replace existing equipment. Scott Petty, Vodafone UK’s chief technology manager, believes that the UK government should make efforts to expand 5G coverage by investing in the next stage of this technology rather than planing to get rid of the Huawei equipment.
He further emphasized that the telecom companies are not tied to one supplier. But he believes it is good to understand the scope of the matter.
The UK is currently negotiating the supply of 5G network equipment with Japan’s NEC and South Korean Samsung Electronics as part of an effort to develop Huawei alternatives. In January, the Chinese company received a “high risk” stamp from the British and was no longer allowed to supply parts for critical parts of networks. Huawei is also not allowed to be involved in network initiatives for more than 35 percent.
Huawei is accused by the United States of, among other things, of espionage practices. US said it is “madness” to allow the use of Huawei technology.
The Huawei issue is a challenge for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. If he sides with the US and bans Huawei, it could curb the UK’s technological progress. He previously promised his voters a quick roll-out of 5G.
Choosing Huawei may cloud the ties with the US. This includes cooperation in the field of intelligence services. It will also do no good to trade relations with the loyal ally.
Ties between Britain and China have recently come under a bit more pressure from Beijing’s coronavirus outbreak and the situation in Hong Kong. In the former British colony, China has decided to impose a new security law.