British intelligence agencies have said the risk posed by Huawei’s provision of next-generation 5G wireless mobile network technology is manageable and the company should not be entirely excluded from future deals, the Financial Times reports.
Instead of an outright ban, the UK will likely consider a range of possible suppliers and cordon-off certain areas of the 5G network, the source added. Alex Younger, head of MI6, said that it was “not inherently desirable that a piece of significant national critical infrastructure is provided by a monopoly supplier.”
The conclusion goes against recent moves by Washington, which has called on European leaders to join the US in banning Huawei from its domestic infrastructure. It is possible that some allies may follow the example of Britain and ease pressure on the Chinese telecoms giant.
“Other nations can make the argument that if the British are confident of mitigation against national security threats then they can also reassure their publics and the US administration that they are acting in a prudent manner in continuing to allow their telecommunications service providers to use Chinese components as long as they take the kinds of precautions recommended by the British,” one person told the FT.