Saturday 7 March 2020 11:37 am

Defence committee to probe 5G network security amid Huawei concerns

The UK’s defence committee is set to investigate the security of the country’s 5G mobile network, it said on Friday.

It comes amid continuing concerns over the role of Chinese firm Huawei, with the US urging the UK to rethink the tech company’s involvement.

Read more: Tory heavyweights propose amendment to oust Huawei

Prime Minister Boris Johnson granted the controversial Huawei a limited role in building the UK’s 5G mobile network in January.

It was a decision that frustrated a global bid by the United States to exclude the firm from the next-generation communications system.

But the security of the country’s 5G will now be subject to an inquiry by a sub-committee of the parliamentary defence committee, it said. 

Conservative MP and chair of the House of Commons defence select committee, Tobias Ellwood, is set to conduct the inquiry.

He said that once 5G was introduced it will be an “unextractable” part of British infrastructure. 

“It is paramount that, as we negotiate this new technology, we ask the uncomfortable questions about the possibility of abuse,” he wrote on Twitter. 

Read more: Huawei is uniting Tory backbenchers – but can they win over Saj?

Huawei vice-president Victor Zhang said in a statement that the company would work with the committee to answer their questions. 

“Over the last 18 months, the government and two parliamentary committees have conducted detailed assessments of the facts and concluded there is no reason to ban Huawei from supplying 5G equipment on cyber security grounds,” he said.

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