Daily Management Review

UK Seeks Japan’s Help In Creating Alternatives For Huawei In 5G Network Construction


UK Seeks Japan’s Help In Creating Alternatives For Huawei In 5G Network Construction
After announcing retraction of all equipment from 5G and other networks supplied by the Chinese telecom equipment making giant Huawei by 2027, the United Kingdom government has sought help from Japan in the roll out of 5G wireless networks in Britain without the need for including the Chinese firm. This was reported in Nikkei on Sunday quoting information from NEC Corp and Fujitsu Ltd, which the report stated were being considered as potential alternative suppliers for Britain’s 5G networks.
According to the report in Nikkei, British officials held a meeting with their counterparts in Tokyo on Thursday. The report also noted that this move indicates the efforts of the British government to bring in new equipment suppliers in the 5G industry so that there is increased competition in the segment which could lead to a possible reduction in costs for setting up of the 5G wireless network in the country.
The UK government has also directed British telecos to stop purchasing equipment from Huawei by the end of the current year.
"By reversing its decision on Huawei, the UK government has placed loyalty to the U.S. above the interests of its own people," Andy Mok, technology commentator and senior research fellow at China Center for China and Globalization, told CGTN.
"Damage control efforts like seeking replacements from Japanese companies are unlikely to spare the government from paying a possibly heavy political price because they are based on wishful thinking," Mok said.
The decision of the UK government to remove Huawei would mean "a cumulative delay to 5G rollout of two to three years", British digital minster Oliver Dowden had announced in a statement earlier.
While naming rival companies form countries of from Finland, Sweden, South Korea and Japan, Dowden had said last week that the UK government was trying to encourage more companies to enter into the 5G network building space so that there is higher competition and rivals for Huawei are created. 
According to analysts, the two Japanese companies that the British government is reportedly targeting - NEC and Fujitsu, as mentioned in the Nikkei report, have command of only less than one per cent of the global 5G base station market. In comparison, about 80 per cent of that market is captured by three companies - Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia, combined.
Reports have been published previously of the plans of the Japanese government to make investments of 70 billion yen or $654 million for supporting Japanese telecom equipment making companies such as NEC and aid them in the development of base station equipment and backbone networks.