UK asks telecom providers to stockpile Huawei gear
Huawei building. Photo: Getty
British officials have written to the country's mobile operators, asking them to make sure they have enough Huawei devices, fearing that US sanctions could affect the Chinese company's ability to maintain coverage, a Reuters letter said.
Last month, the Prime Minister's official spokesman announced that the UK's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) had launched a review to investigate the impact of U.S. sanctions on Huawei on UK networks.
In a letter, the NCSC now said, "Escalating U.S. measures against Huawei may affect its ability to provide updates to products that contain U.S. technology."
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The letter also says: "To ensure the security of networks, it is important that products and components are kept up to date."
An NCSC spokeswoman told Reuters, "We have taken a number of precautions to operators that we recommend while carefully reviewing the impact of these sanctions on UK networks."
Victor Zhang, Vice President of Huawei, said: “Our customers are our top priority and we work with them to ensure business continuity. We strongly oppose politically motivated US measures that are supposed to harm our business and are not based on evidence, ”said Reuters.
According to Reuters, the top British telecommunications operators BT (BT-A.L) and Vodafone (VOD) declined to comment.
The UK government agreed in January that Huawei devices could play a limited role in the 5G network, but has since launched another review.
Huawei has repeatedly denied allegations that its equipment could be used to spy on people and governments in the West.
Last month it was announced that better internet connections would be created in all parts of the UK.
In an open letter, the Chinese company said it was "as always obliged" to set up Internet networks "quickly, cheaply and securely".
Concerns have previously been raised about the company's role in the UK's 5G network due to concerns about its close ties to the Chinese government.
Critics - particularly the United States - have claimed that Huawei devices could be used to spy on people and governments in the West.
Following a government review, it was announced in January that Huawei could play a smaller role in the UK's 5G infrastructure. However, the company was classified as a "high-risk provider" who was excluded from, and informed about, sensitive parts of the network would be limited to no more than 35% of the non-core areas of the network.
READ MORE: Huawei launches an open letter to Britain amid a new review of the 5G role
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