In light of the UK decision, Vodafone is removing Huawei from its core networks.
Vodafone removing Huawei from core components, honors UK decision
Vodafone says it is doing this to comply with the nation’s decision. Last month, the UK decided to keep Huawei in its 5G deployment. Rather than restrict Huawei entirely, the UK says it will let Huawei supply 35-percent of its network periphery. In other words, Huawei won’t be the only 5G deployer the country uses.
Vodafone, as a UK operator, must comply with national telecommunications decisions. This is no different than Verizon Wireless obeying the Federal Government’s wireless laws.
This decision doesn’t eliminate Huawei from Vodafone networks entirely. It does remove Huawei from the majority of the carrier’s mobile networks, however. With only 35-percent network access, Huawei won’t make as much profit behind Vodafone and other UK carriers.
What did Huawei do?
Some wonder what Huawei has done to deserve this. Simply put, the Shenzhen-based telecom maker is under American suspicion. Last summer, US President Donald Trump declared Huawei a threat to national security. He banned Huawei from buying or selling goods and services in the US.
Ever since then, the US has encouraged its allies to exclude Huawei from 5G network deployments across the globe. So far, Australia agrees with the US, though countries like Germany do not.
The US is excluding Huawei from its network entirely, subsidizing telecom gear for smaller carriers that can’t afford to ditch their Huawei gear. The UK recently said in its decision that Huawei would be under scrutiny but wouldn’t be excluded on the basis of US fears alone.
UK Huawei decision: driven by US fears
The US fears Huawei’s espionage activities, particularly due to the country’s espionage activities with its safe cities in Uganda and Zambia. Huawei is majority-owned by the Chinese Government, with Huawei’s CEO owning only 2-percent of company stock.
Nokia CTO Marcus Weldon said last year that Huawei’s security report was troubling considering the company’s Beijing subsidies. Nokia found it hard to compete with Huawei in the country because Huawei received monetary support from the Chinese Government.
While the UK won’t ban Huawei from its networks entirely, it is playing it safe by restricting Huawei’s access to a peripheral 35-percent, far less than the core. The restriction comes in light of US fears of Beijing espionage. The European Union agrees with the UK’s decision.
Huawei has denied any instance of espionage and says that it would resist doing so to maintain its clientele. And yet, if Huawei does it for foreign governments, why would it be any less loyal to its home country?
Security reports provided by Finite State and Huawei-backed Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) last year reveal that Huawei has a number of software loopholes and vulnerabilities it has yet to fix.
The alarming number of loopholes in devices and software should give any country or carrier pause to do business with Huawei. But Huawei’s dominance in mobile networks and 5G, and its head start in 6G technology makes the company hard to exclude.
Huawei owns 15% of all standards-essential 5G patents. The company has been gaining new network clients since its US ban last summer. Huawei’s dominance in the telecom industry is moving the US to gain a controlling financial stake in Ericsson and Nokia, Huawei’s smaller rivals.