Huawei launches open letter to UK amid new review into 5G role

Edmund HeaphyFinance and news reporter
Yahoo Finance UK
Huawei said it was working to bring high-speed connections to 'every part' of the country. (Yang Suping/Costfoto/Sipa USA)
Huawei said it was working to bring high-speed connections to 'every part' of the country. (Yang Suping/Costfoto/Sipa USA)

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei on Monday launched an open letter to the UK, noting that it was “as committed as ever” to working with network operators amid a fresh probe into its role in the country’s 5G networks.

“For nearly 20 years, we’ve supplied the UK’s mobile and broadband companies with 3G and 4G. But some now question our role in helping Britain lead the way in 5G,” the letter says.

The letter, published in full-page adverts in the Times, the Daily Telegraph, and the Daily Mirror, notes that the company is working to bring high-speed connections “to every part of the country.”

Following new US sanctions against the Chinese company, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) last month said it had launched a fresh review into the role of Huawei telecoms equipment in the UK’s 5G networks.

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“The security and resilience of our networks is of paramount importance,” said the NCSC.

“Following the US announcement of additional sanctions against Huawei, the NCSC is looking carefully at any impact they could have to the UK's networks,” it said.

“We want you to know we are as committed as ever to providing your network operator with the best equipment so you can share photos, stream movies, get together online and much more,” Huawei said in its letter.

“While many in cities have fast, reliable connections, others are not so lucky.”

“New 5G and full-fibre broadband networks will fix these problems and we’re working to bring high speed connections to every part of the country,” the letter says.

The moves come after the UK in January gave Huawei the green light to work on 5G infrastructure, despite sustained pressure from the US to ban the company outright.

The government announced that Huawei had been cleared to work on parts of the country’s 5G network, but said restrictions would be put in place to limit potential national security risks.

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The Departure of Culture, Media, and Sport said that companies deemed “high risk,” such as Huawei, would be excluded from sensitive areas of the 5G network and limited to 35% market share.

While the announcement made no mention of Huawei, the Chinese company has been treated as a “high risk” vendor since 2003.

US intelligence services believe the firm may have links to the Chinese state and fear that allowing it to work on national telecoms equipment could allow the country to spy on sensitive government communications.

Following the announcement of the new probe, Huawei said it was “happy” to discuss any concerns with the NCSC, noting it wanted to “continue the close working relationship we have enjoyed for the last 10 years.”

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