Boris Johnson Set Phase Out Huawei in UK’s 5G Networks Photo: FT

PM Boris Johnson set to phase out Huawei in UK’s 5G networks

*Pressure from Conservative MPs, Donald Trump Administration induces UK to drop Chinese firm ─Report

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

Subsequent to intense pressure from his Conservative MP rebels and Washington (Donald Trump Administration) respectively, British Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson is expected to unveil plans this week to phase out Huawei in the UK’s 5G mobile phone networks.

In a big U-turn, Johnson is expected to ban the use of new kit made by the Chinese telecoms equipment maker in Britain’s 5G networks.

The prohibition is now expected to take effect within months, according to Financial Times.

However, report indicated that Huawei is seeking an eleventh-hour meeting with Number 10 (Downing Street, London: PM’s office) officials to plead with PM Johnson not to fully kick the company out of the networks until 2025 at the earliest.

It was learnt that this measure would allow the United Kingdom (UK) mobile operators more time to remove existing Huawei 5G equipment from their networks, and to switch to different suppliers henceforth.

It is recalled that the British Prime Minister announced in January 2020, that Huawei would have a limited role as a supplier for the UK’s 5G networks, capping its market share at 35 percent.

But his National Security Council will meet Tuesday, July 14 to review an official report that raises concerns about the company’s role in the country’s 5G networks.

Sources revealed that the report by the National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of the UK signals intelligence agency GCHQ, was commissioned by the government after the Trump Administration proposed new sanctions against Huawei that aim to cut it off from access to semiconductors made with US equipment.

It was further learnt that the British officials are concerned that, following the US sanctions due to take effect September 2020, it will be harder for the UK to vet any Chinese-made semiconductors used by Huawei.

Likewise, Johnson also reported to be contending with a rebellion in the Conservative party over Huawei.

Increasing numbers of Tory MPs are joining the Trump Administration in claiming the company provides Beijing with an opportunity to spy on Western countries.

The Conservative rebellion has been strengthened by China’s move to impose a tough new national security law on Hong Kong.

The government needs to placate MPs, and the US sanctions is a route for them to do that

One well-placed backbench Tory MP disclosed that there is now “huge” opposition to Huawei among his colleagues.

The MP predicted the government would lose any parliamentary votes about the company’s current role as a limited supplier of 5G kit.

Meanwhile, Huawei has hired several prominent public relations firms in London. Burson, Cohn and Wolfe constitute the company’s primary PR agency, along with Finsbury. Both firms are part of the WPP group, stated the report.

Flint Global, led by Simon Fraser, former permanent secretary at the Foreign Office, is advising Huawei on policy, while MHP Communications is leading on parliamentary relations.

The company also has several influential City of London grandees on the board of its UK arm — including John Browne, former Chief Executive of BP, and Mike Rake, former chair of BT.

BT and other UK mobile operators have warned that curbing Huawei’s role in British telecoms infrastructure could delay the rollout of 5G as well as disrupt services on other networks including 4G.

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