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Huawei Pleads with United Kingdom to Keep 5G Rollout Alive

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird

In Brief

  • Huawei wants the UK to continue with its 5G rollout plans.
  • The firm believes the COVID-19 lockdown has highlighted a need for its service.
  • Despite this, Huawei still faces pushback from Conservative MPs over its Beijing ties.
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Chinese tech and telecommunications giant Huawei is working to protect one of its most prominent projects, as the firm has now advocated for the UK not to get cold feet on its 5G deployment.
Last week, the firm wrote a letter to the British government urging it to keep the planned 5G deployment alive, while adding that a delay will be a ‘disservice’ to the country.

Huawei Involvement in the UK Could Still be Overturned

In the letter, Huawei’s UK Chief Victor Zhang pointed out that data usage in the home has spiked by 50 percent since the coronavirus outbreak, as lockdowns have forced people to stay home more. He added that many Brits, particularly those who live in rural areas, have been stuck in a ‘digital slow lane.’ If the company isn’t allowed to continue providing these people with proper internet infrastructure, Zhang explains that things could get significantly worse. Zhang’s plea to the government is understandable as the coronavirus plagues the UK, one of Huawei’s biggest markets for 5G. While the United States banned the firm from deploying its revolutionary technology and even tried to convince other countries to do the same, the British have been on the fence. Huawei By January, the government approved a limited role for Huawei, which opened the gates for the Chinese giant to play a part in developing the nation’s data infrastructure. However, last month, about 38 conservative members of Parliament expressed their concern over Huawei’s participation. Many of them pointed out that the firm’s ties with Beijing could see it use the 5G rollout as a means to collect user data and share it with the Chinese government. Of course, there’s also the role of recent conspiracy theories that have linked the development of 5G technology with the coronavirus. The theory postulates that the amount of radiation emitted by 5G networks is too high, and it’s led to several ailments — including the coronavirus. As BeInCrypto reported,  5G cell towers in Merling, Liverpool, and Birmingham were pulled down and burned completely amid untrue 5G conspiracy theories. Some of the burned masts didn’t even provide.

Government Ties Come Back to Haunt

Still, the bigger problem for Huawei is the lack of trust from British lawmakers. This could signal an upset, especially since the Telecoms Infrastructure Bill is set to come up this year. The bill will allow multiple broadband providers to access dwelling buildings, especially in cases where landlords have chosen not to get proper broadband services for their tenants. It passed the House of Commons by a vote of 306 to 282 earlier this year. Top Tory leaders have expressed confidence in preventing it from being passed into law. They even tried introducing amendments that would limit Huawei’s role even more, with many of them considering the firm a ‘high-risk supplier.’ Huawei Driving the point home, Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith pointed out that Huawei isn’t a private company. “It’s a Chinese wholly-owned organization,” he explained. However, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden assured everyone that Huawei’s possible threat had been minimized and that a separate bill will address those concerns even more.


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