A final verdict looms on whether the vendor’s equipment can be used in future UK 5G build-outs
New defence secretary Ben Wallace has reportedly said that the final decision on whether Huawei equipment can be used in future 5G network build-outs will be made soon, though no specific date was confirmed.
E&T reported that Wallace, speaking at defence and security arms fair DSEI, said: “The government will come to its position soon.
“We will not allow anything to compromise our sensitive networks in the UK, but our technical advice is that there are places we can go to mitigate any security risk.”
He added, however, that the technical aspect was just one side of things.
“This is more than just technical; it is also about behaviour,” said Wallace. “It wasn’t that long ago that the UK and other nations called out China publicly for some of its cyberactivity – and if we are going to allow countries access to our markets, I think we should all expect a code of behaviour which is fair play.”
Huawei has been under intense scrutiny since the turn of the year from the US government, which has accused the telecoms firm of colluding with the Chinese government by sharing sensitive data.
There are fears that Huawei has access to private data due to its presence in Western telecoms infrastructure.
The US is urging allies to cease using Huawei gear or face being cut out of US intelligence due to security risks.
Huawei’s consumer business has also been hit in the US, with companies stateside barred from selling to the vendor.
However, the US government recently extended its special licence programme that allows US companies to do business with the vendor for another 90 days.