back to article Former NCSC chief says US sanctions made Britain strip Huawei from mobe networks

US sanctions on Huawei got the Chinese firm kicked out of Britain, the former head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has told Parliament – adding that he didn't feel under pressure to change the body's own verdict on keeping Huawei in UK mobile networks. Speaking to Parliament's National Security Strategy (NSS) …

  1. StrangerHereMyself

    Goner

    Huawei will be gone much sooner than 2027 since Huawei will not have the motivation to support its kit if it knows it's gonna be booted no matter what it does.

    Telecoms will therefore replace Huawei kit much sooner. My guess is that by 2023 all Huawei equipment will have been replaced, maybe even sooner.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Goner

      So "by 2023" means 24 months to swap thousands of cell sites? And that's just one operator. Way off the mark with that estimate I'm afraid.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Goner

        > So "by 2023" means 24 months to swap thousands of cell sites?

        I think what a lot of people haven't quite grasped is that this isn't just about 5G.

        A lot of the kit is also providing/handling 4G, so it's not like it's just ripping out stuff for capacity/functionality that hasn't fully been adopted yet - it's very much having to replace (read, temporarily knacker) 4G and other capacity too.

        In the long run, we probably will be better off - having had dealings with Huawei, any business is better off not having to interact with them. But it is being done for some hugely suspect reasons in this case, and the timelines are more than a little optimistic.

      2. StrangerHereMyself

        Re: Goner

        I don't see the problem. These cell towers are mass produced and most of them were put up in only a year or so.

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

      Re: Goner

      As we know, all cash points run a fully up to date copy of Windows 10.

      The bean counters will ensure that Huawei kit stays in use until it fails.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Goner

      "Huawei will not have the motivation to support its kit"

      I disagree. This is not a consumer model whereby a piece of kit is sold with a guarantee for x number of years. Support contracts are lucrative repeat business for those that provide them, so even if there's no prospect of any future HW/SW sales then as long as Huawei (or any other vendor) can make a decent margin on the support contract they will continue to provide that support.

    4. ARGO

      Re: Goner

      I take it you haven't seen Huawei's proportion of worldwide network sales. They will be supporting that kit long after 2027. There's a fair chance that that kit removed from the UK will be resold somewhere less picky.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It will be interesting to see how the jack ma/ant finance nationalisation will affect the perception of Chinese companies offering infrastructure, defense, and other strategically significant equipment to nations that are not aligned with Chinese policy.

    It feels incredibly short sighted on the part of the CCP

    1. K

      Agreed.

      I travelled around parts of the middle-east and south-east Asia over the past few years, and the Chinese were operating huge infrastructure everywhere I went, 2 particularly stood of note, a huge land-reclamation project in Sri Lanka, and also a massive extension of the airport in the Maldives (I can't wait to head back there).

      The Chinese are extremely shrewd when it comes to these types of projects, rather than giving money, they provide the plans, materials and man-power - Which feeds backs into the Chinese economy, whilst leaving those countries in-debt to the CCCP... Honestly, the UK and the West in general, should learn from this model. It might not generate as many local-jobs, but at least we can control exactly how money is spent and reduce fraud.

      It will be interesting to see how the Chinese try to apply influence in these type of locations in the coming years.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        >Honestly, the UK and the West in general, should learn from this model.

        As opposed to the traditional: turn up, rename the place, take all the stuff, kill the locals model ?

        1. K

          > As opposed to the traditional: turn up, rename the place, take all the stuff, kill the locals model ?

          No - As opposed to "Here is a few hundred million", spend it wisely... Then only £500k makes it way to the intended use, as there are 20 middle-men skimming a few million each to cover "handling and administration costs.

          Foreign Aid into places like Africa is a huge profitable business... Why do you think after the hundreds of billions the West has ploughed into Africa (via Foreign Aid and Charity) had done so little - Yet the few countries that have managed to stamp out most of the corruption, now have semi-decent economies.

      2. StrangerHereMyself

        My guess is that it will not work out well for them. In Africa in particular there have been riots near farming land owned by Chinese cooperatives. The Chinese pillage the land and ship all the food produced there to China. leaving the local population hungry and benefiting only a few big honcho's who're paid off.

        Once Chinese nationals are killed or attacked the CCP will most likely send in troops to protect the Chinese workers, which in turn will lead to even more resentment and a call for their expulsion. It will be difficult for African leaders to ignore those calls.

        The Chinese may end up with some worthless IOU's and a badly damaged reputation.

        1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

          I've not studied history extensively, but AIR, expanding empires are blocked either when the population recoils in horror as they find out what expansion actually involves, or when a competing empire is willing to devote enough resources to block the expansion.

          Which of these do you see happening, and why?

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          >It will be difficult for African leaders to ignore those calls.

          Tibet springs to mind... The Chinese will have emasculated the local rulers..

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They do it by extending credit, via their banks, for such projects, and upon default, they own them.

  3. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Don

    'Don' is a contraction of the Latin Dominus - ruler or lord (one who dominates). However in the context of the medieval universities (essentially centres of religious education) Dominus was applied to the senior ecclesiastics entitled to teach.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Great Deceit Conceived and Laboured in Conceit

    "While the Huawei issue for better or worse is resolved by, essentially, the change in US sanctions, more important is shaping the regulation of standards, providers who come from trustworthy backgrounds and were developed in democracies on this continent," Martin told Parliamentarians on Monday.

    Methinks only a useful/useless tool and ignorant /arrogant fool would contend democracies on any continent rule and reign over anything anywhere and develop something trusty worth providing. It is though a popular, and very convenient for a few, misdirection. Thanks for your service, Ciaran.

  5. anothercynic Silver badge

    Glad to see Ellwood and Francois put back in their box

    Those two jabberwockies do much jabbering with practically zero substance.

    Good to see the former don of NCSC obliquely saying as much.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    So what's the risk here?

    Is Huawei a security risk ... worse than Google? You would have to be crazy to think that Google doesn't do any of the data revelations that Huawei is accused of doing. So will China now ban all Android and iPhone devices? Maybe not if they have already hacked them.

    All data is tracked these days - I'm not going to post anonymously because it means nothing to No Such Agency - if I think it's anonymous then they are all laughing.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: So what's the risk here?

      >So will China now ban all Android and iPhone devices?

      Well currently the real interest is what is China going to do about Ericsson, given reports indicate that they have a circa 10% of the Chinese mobile infrastructure market...

    2. KenBW2
      Big Brother

      Re: So what's the risk here?

      My read on the Huawei situation isn't that the Five Eyes are worried that Huawei has Chinese backdoors - GCHQ's analysis have established there aren't

      It's that the Five Eyes *can't* lean on Huawei to install *their* backdoors. Western providers will be more inclined/compelled to do so

    3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: So what's the risk here?

      All data is tracked these days - I'm not going to post anonymously because it means nothing to No Such Agency - if I think it's anonymous then they are all laughing. ... Version 1.0

      A safe and sensible assumption, Version 1.0. I imagine there's not much laughing in the NSA whenever they realise the secrets they are not privy to, the results of which are being ACTively developed and smartly deployed to benefit the East and their customers/clients/consumers in leading technological and socioeconomic fields of postmodern endeavour .... and which the El Reg admirably keeps you wonderfully well informed about, with the following link just being a most recent one doing such honours .... https://www.theregister.com/2021/01/20/the_next_generation_data_centre/

      And the West/Five Eyes cohorts in their collective wisdom choose to cut themselves off from an obviously very successfully stealthily engineered and presented supply chain of enterprises and products, and all too apparently simply because the inscrutable industrious East are merely doing exactly what the West would like to be doing so much better and light years decades ahead of them in fields in which a week is a heck of a long time. Now that certainly is not smart no matter how long you deny it being stupid and citing it necessary.

  7. pintofbitter

    Why over the years governments felt it safe to let a "red" commy country into our networks amazes me, the same with our nuclear power, and before anyone says funding we have just "found" billions for covid !

    1. Trigun

      "and before anyone says funding we have just "found" billions for covid !"

      The cost of Covid is going to last for decades and will be paid for in part by those being born today. That burden is something government would have said was too high if it wasn't a life-and-death issue for so many.

  8. Tempest
    WTF?

    So Much for the UK Being a Sovereign Nation

    If the UK Government had any balls, they would have told the USA to go to hell.

    What happened to Britannia Rules the Waves?

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