UK: GCHQ official puts the dampener on Huawei's 5G hopes

Dr Ian Levy from GCHQ, the UK’s cyber-intelligence agency, has told the BBC that Chinese firm Huawei faces a ban from sensitive parts of the UK’s 5G network. The comment comes just a month before the government gives its final say on whether Huawei should be banned from 5G networks.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Levy said:

“The security in Huawei is like nothing else - it's engineering like it's back in the year 2000 - it's very, very shoddy. We've seen nothing to give us any confidence that the transformation programme is going to do what they say it's going to do.”

One solution that Dr Levy has proposed is a ban on Huawei radio equipment in sensitive areas of the country such as Westminster. This would stop individuals such as politicians, who are likely to be targeted by spies, from connecting to the Huawei hardware.

The opinion of an intelligence agency will no doubt play a significant role in swaying the decision made by the government next month. Huawei, however, has a significant lead on its rivals and banning it from the network could mean that 5G would take an extra year, or more, to deploy. By the time it's ready, it would come at a higher cost to customers.

These reasons were spelled out by the main mobile networks two months ago. The technology chiefs that spoke out on the issue all said that they wanted to see Huawei included in the 5G network makeup in order to lower costs and make sure 5G is ready sooner.

By delaying 5G, the UK economy could lose out, as more people hold off on any phone upgrades until 5G is ready to go. It would also act as a setback on the wider Internet of Things landscape, which is expected to hugely rely on 5G connectivity.

Source: BBC News

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