Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, prepared the release of its first 5G phone in the U.K. market.
The company is at the center of controversy weeks after a leaked government meeting cost the British defense minister his job.
CGTN’s Juliet Mann explained the debate on whether Huawei should be allowed to provide 5G mobile technology.
5G is one of the biggest mobile trends for 2019. Carriers around the world were starting to roll out their next-generation mobile networks with tech that promises more possibilities for smart homes, autonomous vehicles and more. For phones, it meant faster, steadier internet connections.
But who is going to be allowed to build core parts of the network was a hot topic. While Huawei was in the mix, there were security concerns about the company’s alleged ties to China’s government.
The Chinese tech giant commissioned a report from an independent organization, Oxford Economics, which showcases the prosperity side of the agenda. The report claimed Huawei directly contributed around 300 million dollars to the UK economy in 2018 and now supports 26,000 jobs.
But there were big concerns about surveillance and the security of customer data. That’s why the United States was trying to get its allies to totally exclude Huawei from the 5G conversation.
Although officially undecided, the UK seemed keen to strike a Huawei deal. Intelligence agencies said any risks from Huawei can be contained by a special unit it has to monitor the company’s software. And a leaked Security Council document indicated that Huawei was under consideration to provide some, non-core parts of the network.
Huawei planned to unveil its first commercial 5G phone at an event in London this week.