Following the US sanctions on Huawei networks last week, the UK is conducting a fresh review into the impact of allowing the telecoms company to be used in British 5G networks.
In January, the UK did not bow to pressure from the US to ban the company from contributing to 5G. However, the National Cyber Security Centre has decided to review the decision.
A NCSC spokesman said: “The security and resilience of our networks is of paramount importance.”
“Following the US announcement of additional sanctions against Huawei, the NCSC is looking carefully at any impact they could have to the UK’s networks.”
The sanctions from the US prohibit Huawei from using US technology and softwares to design its semiconductors.
This comes after it emerged that Huawei had flouted regulations implemented in 2019 requiring them to obtain a license in order to export US items.
The US department of commerce says Huawei got around the rule by using US semiconductor manufacturing equipment at factories in other countries.
Previously, the UK had approved a limited role for Huawei in building the country’s 5G networks.
In the agreement, Huawei should account for only 35 percent kit in a network periphery, and this include the radio masts. They were also banned from supplying kit to sensitive parts of the network, known as the ‘core’.
The UK mobile operators were told by the NCSC that they had three years to comply with the caps on the use of Huawei equipment in their networks.
Victor Zhang, vice-president at Huawei, while responding to the review, said “Our priority remains to continue the rollout of a reliable and secure 5G networks across Britain.”
“We are happy to discuss with NCSC any concerns they may have and hope to continue the close working relationship we have enjoyed for the last 10 years.” He added.
Critics have argued that it is a risk to allow the Chinese company dealings with UK’s 5G network, due to fears that Beijing could be using the company to spy or sabotage communications in the country.