The biggest barrier to the 5G revolution is politics

Inside Business: Huawei might be barred from 5G but its masts remain up. How long that continues is down to politics rather than security assessments

James Moore
Chief Business Commentator
Wednesday 03 July 2019 17:31
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Vodafone has switched its 5G network on in seven cities. Huawei is a part of it
Vodafone has switched its 5G network on in seven cities. Huawei is a part of it

The 5G revolution – at least that’s what we’re being told – is under way. Vodafone has switched on two weeks after EE did the same, with seven cities at first, 12 more to follow later this year. Of course, it means both companies also switched Huawei on.

While the government has dithered, and leaked, and dithered some more, the industry has had to get on with the work of getting the thing going. The controversial Chinese company won’t be involved in any of the core networks, per government orders. But its equipment is still in the “radio access networks”. That’s the masts to you and me. Not all of them. There are Ericsson and Nokia masts out there too. But some of them. At least for now.

Under Theresa May, the National Security Council decided this would be OK, notwithstanding the objections of some ministers (hence the leak). But, of course, Theresa May isn’t going to be prime minister for much longer. Before you breathe a sigh of relief, look at the alternatives who are currently engaged in making Jeremy Corbyn look like Ebenezer Scrooge.

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