News World Britain set to ban Huawei from 5G, though timescale unclear

Britain set to ban Huawei from 5G, though timescale unclear

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to ban Huawei from Britain’s 5G network in a landmark decision that will anger Beijing but win plaudits from President Donald Trump as the United States grapples with China’s rising economic and technological clout.

The United States has pushed Johnson to reverse his January decision to grant Huawei a limited role in 5G, while London has been dismayed by a crackdown in Hong Kong and by the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over coronavirus.

Britain’s National Security Council (NSC), chaired by Johnson, will meet on Tuesday to discuss Huawei. Media Secretary Oliver Dowden will announce a decision to the House of Commons later in the day. The opposition Labour Party said his statement would be after 1130 GMT. The government has not provided a time.

The immediate excuse for the about turn in policy is the impact of new U.S. sanctions on chip technology, which London says affects Huawei’s ability to remain a reliable supplier.

It is unclear how far Johnson will go on Tuesday. Telecoms firms already had to cap Huawei’s role in 5G at 35% by 2023. Reducing it to zero over an additional two to fours years is now being discussed, although operators have warned that going too fast could delay key technology and disrupt services.

Asked about Huawei in June, Johnson said he would protect critical infrastructure from “hostile state vendors”. Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said on Monday the “priority” would be national security.

The United States says Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, is an agent of the Chinese Communist State and cannot be trusted.

Huawei denies it spies for China and has said the United States wants to frustrate its growth because no U.S. company could offer the same technology at a competitive price.

NEW COLD WAR?

In what some have compared to the Cold War antagonism with the Soviet Union, the United States is worried that 5G dominance is a milestone towards Chinese technological supremacy that could define the geopolitics of the 21st century.

Angering China just as Britain extracts itself from the European Union will put London firmly back on the side of its closest ally, the United States.

It would also mark the end of what former Prime Minister David Cameron cast as a “golden era” in ties with China.

China’s ambassador to Britain has said a U-turn on Huawei would damage Britain’s image and it would have to “bear the consequences” if it treated China as a hostile country.

HUAWEI BANNED?

In January, Johnson defied Trump by allowing so-called high-risk companies’ involvement in 5G – including Huawei – to be capped at 35%. He excluded such companies from the sensitive 5G “core”, where data is processed, as well as critical networks and locations such as nuclear and military sites.

Britain’s major telecoms networks have said they need at least five years, and ideally seven, to remove Huawei.

“If we get to a situation where things need to go very, very fast, then you are into a situation where potentially service for 24 million BT Group mobile customers is put into question – outages,” BT CEO Philip Jansen told BBC radio on Monday.

Huawei has said the implications of the U.S. sanctions are not yet clear, and it has urged Britain to wait. The Telegraph newspaper said on Friday the government was expected to set a deadline of 2025 for removing Huawei equipment.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Three covid deaths in Cyprus, new cases drop further to 157 but fewer tests

  Cyprus recorded three covid deaths over the past 24 hours, raising the number to 170,  113 men and 57 women, with an average age...

Thousands protest in Amsterdam against Dutch coronavirus lockdown

  Several thousand today people held an unauthorised protest in Amsterdam against a national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, before being...

Search and rescue crews looking for woman off Larnaca

  The Search and Rescue Coordination Centre in Larnaca received a call around four in the afternoon about a 70 year old woman missing off...

Rapid Test locations on Monday Jan 18

Here are the rapid test locations for Monday January 18 Limassol Apostolos Loukas church, Ayios Athanasios (Ayios Athanasios refugee settlement) 8.30-4.30 Ayios Stylianos church, Linopetra 8.30-4.30 Mesa Yeitonia Cultural Centre...

German FM says COVID curbs should be eased for vaccinated people

  People who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 should be allowed to go to restaurants and cinemas earlier than others, a German minister said, contradicting...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...