UK mobile operators should show “all due caution” before using Huawei’s equipment in their 5G networks, culture secretary Jeremy Wright has warned.
In a move that will spark further uncertainty over Huawei’s role in UK telecoms infrastructure, Wright said the government must “think carefully” before it makes a decision about the Chinese tech firm.
Wright denied the delay to the UK’s verdict had been caused by the Tory leadership race, and pointed instead to the US’s decision to add Huawei to a trade blacklist.
“What that means for telecoms companies is they’ve got to make their decisions with all due caution,” Wright told reporters, according to Reuters.
“If there is a complete ban on the inclusion of Huawei equipment in 5G networks then of course that means what it says.”
US President Donald Trump has rolled out a ban on the Chinese firm amid fears its technology could be used by Beijing for spying, and has urged America’s allies to follow suit.
Leaks from a national security meeting earlier this year revealed the UK would ban Huawei from core parts of its 5G network but allow it to participate in non-core areas.
But the government is still yet to confirm its position towards the Chinese tech giant, and mobile operator EE has already launched its 5G network in six UK cities using Huawei equipment.
Earlier this week it emerged the major mobile firms will write to the government calling for greater clarity over the UK’s position towards Huawei.
Despite urgent calls for certainty, Wright insisted a range of options was still available and warned it would be “unrealistic” not to take the US’s decision into account.
“Because those decisions have been made by the US relatively recently that means we have to take a step back and think carefully about them before we make our final decision,” he said.