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The Security of 5G

Inquiry

5G is the next generation of mobile communications technology and is expected to offer faster mobile broadband connections and the ability to connect a greater number of devices online. The UK Government has said it wants to be a global leader in 5G and the rollout of 5G has already began in many areas. However, there are several challenges associated with 5G rollout, chief amongst these are concerns overs the security of 5G networks. Concerns have been raised in Parliament, relevant industries, academia and by the press regarding the use of equipment in 5G networks that has been supplied by foreign companies, focussing on Chinese telecoms supplier Huawei. There are concerns about the security standards of Huawei equipment in general, the extent to which Chinese law could compel the company to assist the State’s intelligence services, coupled with broader ethical and ideological concerns about the growing global presence of Chinese technology companies. Some countries, for example the USA and Australia, have restricted the role that foreign telecommunications providers can play in national 5G and/or telecoms networks. There have been some calls for the UK Government to follow suit and take a stricter approach to Huawei in UK 5G networks, including reported pressure from the US on its allies to ban the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks.

In January 2020, the UK’s National Security Council made the decision to exclude Huawei technology from the most sensitive parts of the UK’s 5G network, while allowing it to supply peripheral components such as mobile phone masts and antennae.

The last oral evidence session for this inquiry took place on Tuesday 2 June 2020.

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  • Email: defsc@parliament.uk
  • Phone: 020 7219 5745
  • Address: Defence Sub-Committee, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
  • Email: defcom@parliament.uk
  • Phone: 020 7219 5745 (General enquiries)/ 07565 202054 (Zoe Grunewald: Media enquiries)
  • Address: Defence Committee, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA