5G Network

The Next UK Prime Minister must make the decision quickly whether to include the Chinese tech giant Huawei as a 5G supplier, a parliamentary committee says. The Committee has also warned that UK’s international relations are suffering due to the present 5G indecision. The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) gave a statement in which it said that this was a matter of urgency.

Recently, another UK Science and Technology Committee stated that there is no reason to ban Huawei as a 5G supplier. However, the Committee recommended excluding Huawei from the core 5G supply.

The Huawei 5G indecision of Britain isn’t just due to the complexities of the ongoing threats and geopolitical pressures. It is also due to the internal turmoil caused by the 2016 EU referendum Brexit vote. Westminster has suffered greatly due to this. Brexit will soon become the reason for dispatching two UK Prime Ministers in just three years.

A Conservative Parliamentary Members voting next week will select the outgoing PM Theresa May’s successor. May gave the amber light to Huawei earlier this year.

Someone leaked the National Security meeting to the press on April 2019. It suggested that the government should allow Huawei to provide kit for the non-core parts of the 5G networks. This raises serious questions regarding how to delineate the core and non-core elements in the 5G networks. This leak also led to the firing of the Defense Minister, Gavin Williamson. A piece of confidential information leaked, in which the PM May said that she didn’t trust him anymore.

There has also been a delay in the publication of the Telecoms Supply Chain Review. The government published the terms of reference last fall. Therefore, the government needs to be clear on the 5G issue quickly. However, May is leaving Premiership. So, the 5G indecision is hurting the country even more. After May, it will be the decision of either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, whether to allow the Chinese Tech Giant supply 5G networks.

Whichever out of these two men becomes PM, will have to give immediate attention to finding a way out of the Brexit dilemma. The reason is that there is only the three-month extension will end in October. Therefore, it is a possibility that the Government still won’t give attention to the Huawei 5G problem and it may be sidelined.

The Committee gave a statement in which it clarified its point of view regarding 5G networks. It stated that network security isn’t dependent on excluding any single supplier from it. It mentioned, “The National Cyber Security Center is clear on the point that the UK’s telecommunication isn’t about giving or denying access to any single Company. So, the origin of the telecommunication isn’t a critical element in cybersecurity.”

The Committee states that some network parts will require greater protection. It states, “Critical functions can’t be put to risk. However, there are less sensitive functions where we can take more risk.” The committee didn’t mention the details of the latter functions.

“It doesn’t matter where the functions are present. So, the concept of edge and core are a bit misleading,” the Committee adds, “Thus, we need to think about different levels of security. We should look for a resilient network, which is immune to being disabled from a single action.”

At the same time, the Committee mentions that the government shouldn’t just view the 5G supply decision only in the context of the technical complexities. It is also a geostrategic decision that will have a serious impact on the coming generations.

The Committee ends its statement by saying that the debate regarding 5G supply has been going on for a long time. It pressed that now is the time to make decisions. The UK’s next Prime Minister should quickly make a decision, so we can move forward.