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Huawei shut out of “sensitive parts” of UK 5G network

Huawei has been banned from supplying equipment to any “sensitive parts” of the 5G network, it has been announced. 

The under-fire Chinese firm will be allowed to supply “non-core” infrastructure, but will be banned from providing “core” 5G infrastructure.

Related: What does Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s “non-core” 5G infrastructure mean?

The announcement was made following today’s meeting of the national security council, chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson (via BBC).

Huawei will also notably have no role in providing infrastructure for military bases and nuclear sites. This move is seemingly intended to calm fears of intelligence partners, chiefly the US, which has repeated argued that Huawei presents a risk to the UK’s national security.

In an official statement, Huawei’s UK Chief Victor Zhang, said:

“Huawei is reassured by the UK government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track. This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.

“We have supplied cutting-edge technology to telecoms operators in the UK for more than 15 years. We will build on this strong track record, supporting our customers as they invest in their 5G networks, boosting economic growth and helping the UK continue to compete globally.

“We agree a diverse vendor market and fair competition are essential for network reliability and innovation, as well as ensuring consumers have access to the best possible technology”.

We covered the technical distinction between the terms “core” and “non-core” in the build-up to the decision. To make it clearer, a Vodafone spokesperson told Trusted Reviews: “The non-core part of our network refers to the antennae and masts, which is also known as the radio access network (or RAN). A third of our RAN uses Huawei equipment.

“The core part of our network consists of servers in our data centres handling sensitive tasks such as billing and customer location data. We don’t use any Huawei equipment in our core network.”

Related: Best Phones

A spokesperson from Three added: “The ‘non-core’ part of telecommunications infrastructure refers to the ‘Radio Access Network’. This is made up of base stations and antennas that deliver communications to handsets and also connect individual devices to other parts of the network.

“The ‘core’ part of the network manages traffic across the entire network and is where the more sensitive information is stored.”

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