back to article UK.gov tells rebel MPs to go Huawei – but 5G Telecoms Security Bill was the price

MPs have narrowly voted down a Parliamentary amendment that would have banned Huawei altogether from the UK's 5G networks. The amendment, tabled by a number of rebel Conservative MPs from prime minister Boris Johnson's ruling party, was narrowly defeated by 306 votes to 282 – a majority of 24. The Conservatives currently hold …

  1. martinusher Silver badge

    Its not Huawei's fault they have a virtual monopoly

    I don't think there's a term in the English language for an "accidental monopoly". I'm pretty sure that Huawei is smart enough as a company to realize that having a monopoly on a technology isn't a good idea, there needs to be a vibrant ecosystem of competing products to grow the market, but owing to a complete lack of investment in R&D in this field by companies in the US they've been handed the entire business on a plate. I don't think this is the only case, just the most public. Look at all the products you see about you and ask yourself where they and their components were made. The chances are that most will be from China or an alternative Asian supplier.

    I find it a bit ludicrious that the UK should be even debating this topic., Their electronics industry preceded the US by several decades, descending in to a mush of overpriced (and underperforming) custom military kit and small boutique operations like hi-fi amplifiers. There's obviously been pushback -- engineers like to make things, after all -- but by and large being an engineer in the UK during the 70s and 80s was a soul destroying activity as industry after industry fell to foreign competition (aided, especially after 1980, by government policy). Moving to the US you saw exactly the same forces at work but the US was starting from a much higher perch so was going to take longer to fall (our 1980s era happend post-2000).

    I suggest that if you don't want 5G then just go without. We've got a bit of it in the US but the offerings and coverage are embarassing, they're just marketing fluff that underscores how badly we've been caught out.

    1. EamonFromMars

      Re: Its not Huawei's fault they have a virtual monopoly

      I don't disagree but a cynical person might attribute getting to the stage where this "accidental monopoly" is possible to years of Intellectual Property theft. Of course every country/company does it when they can but the Chinese were a bit more obvious/state sanctioned/successful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its not Huawei's fault they have a virtual monopoly

        Remarkable, they stole the IP and then made it way, way better (and cheaper).

        IP theft generally results in a measurably worse product than the one they stole it from. E.g. a Chinese style BMW X5 or various other similar products. 5 G has open standards and has little in the way of other offerings to steal from.

        If they did steal the IP, just imagine what they could've done if they had just started from scratch in the first place and didn't steal the clunky old designs of the past?

  2. AmenFromMars

    I wonder how many of these MPs know that every time they use 4G the chances are their data will be going through Huawei kit?

    1. genghis_uk Silver badge

      I wonder how many of these MPs have even the most basic understanding of the technology. They bluster about national security and backdoors but have no idea what the words they parrot actually mean.

      This is all about politics and posturing with no base in reality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder

        I wonder how many of these MPs have even the most basic understanding of the technology.

        I do not wonder, I have come across so many people who are proud of what they call something like their "non-techiness". Delibarate ignorance is caused by stupidity and is entirely different from DGAF and disinterest.

        I expect many of us have come across PHB types who feel that their lack of understanding if any technology more recent than a dial telephone shows their superiority to the rest of us.

        These are the same people who "must" have the latest gizmos from Apple but never actually use them for anything. They only use their iPhones for phone calls and get irritated when their PA tries to get them to reply to text messages, or even read them...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I wonder

          @ A/c

          I can see why you are anonymous. You really do not have any idea of what you are talking about do you. Are you 9 years old and using your mothers account?

          If you were into what we do in our business, you would see that we know how to use our tech. We don't need to know how it works.

          Cheers… Ishy

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I wonder

            Not the original AC but you have sent a meaningless ad-hominem attack for a valid comment. MPs have stood up in parliament to debate various levels of tech based bills and have started with the amusing statement about their own techno-illiteracy, to much humour of the house.

            I have also seen it in many workplaces, so the AC was correct in their statement.

            You stated "If you were into what we do in our business, you would see that..." but you don't qualify what "[your] business" is to even be able to start to "see that [you] know how to use [your] tech".

            Obviously hit a nerve, I fee.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bold to assume some of them have smart phones in the first place. The limits of their technical knowledge is programming a 1-4-all remote control and even then they have to phone a friend.

    3. Len
      Meh

      Iain Duncan Smith and David Davis certainly won’t, they are the low skilled people you read about so much lately. They just represent the opinion their US paymasters have paid them to represent.

      This whole debate has created some strange bedfellows where very knowledgeable concerned people are grouped together with the low skilled. People who despise human rights grouped together with people who worry about civil liberties. People who are professionally angry grouped together with people who don’t care very much. People who are very principled grouped together with the corrupt.

      It would be very funny if it wasn’t a serious matter.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Yep - it would be very interesting to see what "gifts" these MPs have been given recently. Promises of directorships once they are out of Parliament are a bit trickier to assess, though a look at who has been lobbying them might be very enlightening.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    To the Victor, the Valiant Hotspur that Leads ....

    A Telecoms Security Bill is now set to appear at some point before the summer holidays after a back-footed Dowden promised the government would produce one,

    I look forward to that revealing comic read.

    1. oxfordmale78

      Re: To the Victor, the Valiant Hotspur that Leads ....

      I suspect you will have to wait a bit longer, I doubt this bill will be a priority with the Corana virus outbreak going to peak in April/May

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: To the Victor, the Valiant Hotspur that Leads ....

        It might appear after the late lamented report on Russian financial influence on the ruling party?

  4. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    24 is a comfortable win for the govt.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      comfortable win ...

      Both comfortable and uncomfortable ... 24 is not really a narrow win, but with a majority of 80, it's not that comfortable.

      Personally, I'm conflicted ... I think the "Never Huawei" group are wrong but I'm encouraged that quite a number don't seem to see their role as rubber stamping government policy. But I'm still concerned that some "rebels" are acting due to other interests rather than rational analysis.

  5. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Everybody snooping

    If Google and Facebook are earwigging everywhere, why not let Huawei join the fun.

    I have another question: do the Russians buy from Huawei?

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