Britain is facing a tough decision regarding the future of the 5G network. The United States has been pushing its allies, Britain included, to completely sever ties with China and the Huawei Technologies. This decision could change where Britain and the United States stand on diplomatic relations.
It is up to the Britain National Security Council on whether or not they allow Huawei to build the parts that are needed for their new high-speed 5G network. This is an infrastructure that the country sees as necessary for the future of its economy. If they do choose to side with the United States and ban the usage of Huawei technology for the 5G network, they could fall behind economically. A lot of Britain’s manufacturers have already started installing the 5G hardware and would have to remove it all with a ban.
Britain has a legitimate reason to worry about continuing its relationship with Huawei. Huawei is under the microscope regarding China’s 2017 national intelligence law, which would make them release any intelligence to the Chinese government if asked to do so. Worries have come up that this could lead to Huawei carrying out cyber espionage.
Why is 5G So Important?
The integration of the 5G network is not just to help speed up the cellular networks as an upgrade to the current 4G being used. 5G is the basis of the new technologies that are underway. Self-driving cars and telehealth communications that guide surgeries remotely through robots are only two of the possibilities that come with 5G networking capabilities.
There are only a handful of options for wireless network infrastructures. Besides China, there are two other contractors are Scandinavian born Nokia and Ericsson. Banning Huawei would bring the playing field down to only a few notable infrastructures and could increase the threat level of a cyber-attack.
This is not a decision that Britain is taking lightly. In the same boat, trying to make similar decisions in Germany. Germany is the largest economy in Europe and its decisions could play out to the detriment of other smaller, dependent nations.
The fear among the two components of cellular networks does not lie in the radio frequencies, but in the core of the model. If the core is nothing but line after line of computer code, it leaves a surface that could be vulnerable to not only attack but a “backdoor” used to gather the information that could cause problems in the long term.
Britain states that they have always had the Huawei technology inspected but have found recently that some of it has returned questionable.