The British government agreed six months ago that Chinese company Khwave would have a limited role in Britain’s 5G network. But now the government has changed its mind. UK government ministers are now ready to pull out this Chinese company and they say ‘no new equipment will be installed from next year’. It is believed that the UK government has taken this decision under pressure from America.
In January 2020, after a long delay and a tough fight, the UK government announced that Chinese company Khwwe would be excluded from the sensitive core of the 5G network and Khwwe’s share would be limited to 35% of the market in other parts. But now the UK government wants to reconsider that decision. According to a top government official, the Trump administration’s insistence on creating ‘unbelievable pressure’ on this Chinese company is a major reason for the change in the UK government’s thinking. US officials have been claiming that China can even spy on espionage, theft and attack the UK with the help of Khwave. However, the Chinese company Khwave has been calling these claims baseless.
The founder of Khwave has even said that ‘it is better to shut down your company than do harm to your customers’. After the new sanctions in May, Khwave has limited access to US chip technology, which has also led to some important questions related to technology in front of the UK. But this decision related to the future of Khwave in the UK will be as important for technical reasons as it is for geopolitics and domestic politics.
Telecom companies warning
The attitude of some other countries towards China has also become harsh in the last six months. Concerns about the Corona virus crisis and dependence on China have increased due to the way the Chinese government handles it. Then the arbitrariness of China on Hong Kong has also raised the concern that China is becoming more domineering or authoritarian. In the UK, such voices have increased in the last few months who are keen to implement tough policies against China.
But after the discussion on Khwave started, telecom companies have warned that ‘mobile coverage blackout can be a temporary hurdle if mobile devices are forced to remove them fast’. In view of this, the government is now discussing this aspect as to the speed of removal of Khwave and the time it should be completed.
What can be the effect?
If it takes seven to ten years to completely remove the Khwave kit, the critics will be very unhappy with it, but the interference will be very less. And if this work is done in three to five years, then it will cost a lot. Apart from this, if the telecom companies are late to start 5G due to this then the government will also have trouble in fulfilling its promises related to connectivity in the UK. The UK government has promised people that it will make extensive improvements in connectivity in the coming years. It is obvious that if the UK does something like this then China will also do something to punish the UK so that other countries do not follow its footsteps.
So whatever the situation will be, this is the beginning of a serious discussion to be held in the next few months.