Broadband News

Is Government set to shut door on Huawei due to sanctions?

There appears to be a shift away from the position the Government laid out with regards to Huawei and its involvement in 5G and telecoms networks in the United Kingdom. The January 2020 position was that mobile and broadband operators were to face a limit of 35% for the amount of Huawei kit they used in addition to excluding them from the core.

Move forward six months and with Huawei being caught up in the wider USA versus China trade war there is distinct possibility of software Huawei currently uses to design it own chips would cease to be available. Not being able to design new chips would limit new products and enhancements to existing products e.g. higher density G.fast line cards. Of course software can be replicated, but that would take time and it seems likely that other restrictions would limit there ability to manufacture new silicon so even if the design and testing software is rebuilt in-house Huawei may still have problems.

Huawei is so widely used at present particularly in the 5G world due to its lower costs of kit and the amount of 5G hardware it was able to put onto the market ahead of competitors. 

The prospect of what has been a key manufacturer facing supply and product development problems combined with the unspecificed but apparently genuine security concerns we suspect that rather than rely on just in time delivery there is going to be a rush to build up a stock of spares for existing kit. The longer term picture if sanctions were to become permanent would be no new kit from Huawei appearing in the UK networks and other firms from around the world winning the business.

It has to be said but with the uncertaintity around how the US is handling itself on the world stage and the possibility that the November 2020 Presidential election could see a dramatic change in outlook in January 2021, we might see the UK Government trying to stall any absolute decisions that cannot be reversed for some months.

Comments

It is a real pity that the UK is becoming ensnared in the trade war between a weakening US and strengthening China, encouraged by MPs and others making unsubstantiated allegations about security issues. And let's face it, the MPs have no inkling of the underlying technologies, being so lamentably ignorant about such matters, so have no basis upon which to make such allegations!

It would be good to have evidence-based policy making for once, but sadly that's highly unlikely to happen with the bulk of our current crop of politicians.

  • New_Londoner
  • about 1 month ago

Agreed New_Londoner - this statement says it all:
"Huawei is so widely used at present particularly in the 5G world due to its lower costs of kit and the amount of 5G hardware it was able to put onto the market ahead of competitors."

China are ahead in this and phony trade wars are not going to help when 80% of the world will use that kit and save money/move further into China sphere of influence. Meanwhile we'll pay more for poorer kit.

  • cheesemp
  • about 1 month ago

If MPs think that 'there is distinct possibility of software Huawei currently uses to design it own chips would cease to be available' then they are again showing their ignorance.

The software is very widely used all over the world, and it's not that difficult to hack the flex-lm licensing that is universally used by the main vendors.

It also makes it more likely that China will attempt to appropriate Taiwan which has most of the world's semiconductor manufacturing capability. The US's bargaining position is much weaker than its bluster makes out.

  • keith969
  • about 1 month ago

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