The pronouncement by the UK Government marks an uneasy compromise over how to deal with ‘high-risk vendors’ (HRVs) participating in the country’s future 5G networks.
The deal attempts to address pressure from the US Government to impose an outright ban by keeping vendors such as Huawei from the 5G mobile core, where the integrity of functions such as network policy, subscriber data and end-to-end intelligence are most critical. Meanwhile, allowing HRVs to occupy no more than a 35% stake in less sensitive parts of the network, such as the radio, will ensure that operators don’t have to rip and replace existing gear from Huawei, which has been a long-time supplier for UK operators.
Ultimately, the solution may embolden operators in other countries to also allow Huawei to continue on as a vital supplier. This is especially vital in markets such as Germany that have relied heavily on Huawei as a supplier in previous 3G and 4G/LTE builds and are reluctant to lose the innovation and price competition that companies like Huawei have helped create.
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