back to article Rip and replace is such a long Huawei to go, UK telcos plead, citing 'blackouts' and 'billion pound' costs: Are Vodafone and BT playing 'Project Fear'?

The caution couldn't be more stark. In a meeting with the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee yesterday, execs from BT and Vodafone warned UK lawmakers that a deadline of 2023 to remove Huawei-made equipment from their networks will result in multi-day mobile signal losses for some customers. "To get to zero in a …

  1. Caustic Soda

    The waters are being muddied deliberately by telcos. Nobody is talking about making them remove Huawei from legacy networks, but they are lumping the costs in as if they were being told to do that. The cost of getting Huawei out of 5G for any of the big networks is no more than half a billion each, from starting to strip it out to equipping with non-spyware-compromised kit. The thing not being talked about enough in 5G security is that the most vulnerable bit of the network is still the bit which breathes and uses its own shop-bought hardware in a secuty-compromising fashion.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      The cost of getting Huawei out of 5G for any of the big networks is no more than half a billion each, from starting to strip it out to equipping with non-spyware-compromised kit.

      You seem to be suggesting Huawei kit already installed is stuffed full of spyware. I am not sure I agree but my Kool Aid deliveries have been disrupted by lockdown.

      I don't actually blame BT and others for somewhat exaggerating the costs and inconvenience of unnecessarily doing something which could easily be avoided by telling Trump to fuck off.

      But, yes, I know; we voted for brexit, we need a trade deal with the US, we have to jump as high as Trump tells us to, have to bow to his trade war terrorism, his America First ideology, be a dutiful Vassal State of America, have to live on our knees doing as we're told - It's what the people voted for.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Was with you till the anti trump crap.

        Trump is a nut job and I’m not supporting him in any way, but ditching Huawei is about much more than following trump.

        My 2c is that Huawei are big in RAN especially antennas, so long as the traffic is encrypted the issue with the Access network & Antennas is that Huawei could be told to turn ours off.

        I’m not sure the US vendors wouldn’t do the same if asked by their governments. No one here would complain if foreign (*stans etc) nets are turned off.

        1. David 164

          An you don't think the Chinese cyber warfare division aren't going to figure out a way turn off the same equipment from different non chinese own manufacturers? If the Chinese want this capability they are going to get it, whether it Huawei gear or not.

          1. AGOO

            God I'll get shipped to a reeducation camp waaaay before you. Are you a commisar in the PLA? I'm sure people keep sneaking in here and moving the furniture around.

        2. Yes Me Silver badge


          "ditching Huawei is about much more than following trump."

          No, really, it isn't. You don't cite any evidence, but the fact is that all this started with Western vendors paying lobbyists in Washington DC to whip up Congressional hysteria against Huawei, because Huawei kit is better & cheaper & threatens their profits. This plays well in Washington, with appeal to both Democrats & Republicans, but it plays best of all with Trump and his infantile misunderstanding of international trade. And for whatever reason, the Tory right wing has dug itself into a deep hole that makes them slaves of Trumpery.

          Assuming Trump is duly kicked out in November, all this will start to unravel by next February or March, so I don't expect that any UK telco will actually need to remove a single item of Chinese kit.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Trumpery

            "Assuming Trump is duly kicked out in November,"

            Yeah, that ain't gonna happen. Trump will stay by any means neccessary. And I mean, ANY MEANS.

            1. Lars Silver badge

              Re: Trumpery

              I have not totally lost my faith in the American people, the idiot will be escorted out by either men in white or in uniforms. What will be so funny is to see him introduce the WH to Biden.

          2. keith_w

            Re: Trumpery

            The "Western Vendors" involved are Nokia and Ericsson. Not exactly US manufacturers. Why would Trump, a notorious Amerika Firster, be pushing Huawei out to support Scandinavian companies rather than American ones? And please remember that Huawei has been accused in the past of industrial espionage against Northern Telecom which is believed to have contributed to it's downfall.

            1. martinusher Silver badge

              Re: Trumpery

              It appears that a lot of Ericsson kit is made in China anyway.

            2. NeilPost

              Re: Trumpery

              There are not really any American companies left in mobile base station and mast market.

              That all went bankrupt.

              It’s Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung or Huawei.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Trumpery

            I have no doubt that Huawei kit is cheaper, but is it REALLY better?

            A lot of stuff like that (eg, Allwinner ARM SoCs) are cheap as chips because they’re subsidized by the PLA. Doesn’t mean that it’s better than other stuff.

            1. big_D Silver badge

              Re: Trumpery

              Huawei allegedly has patents on a lot of 5G technology that is ahead of the competition.

              They may have started off by ripping off designs from Cisco and co 2 decades ago, but they invest a lot of money in their own R&D these days and are ahead of Ericsson and Nokia in many areas, especially antenna design, AFAIK.

              1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                Re: Trumpery

                Huawei allegedly has patents on a lot of 5G technology that is ahead of the competition.

                No allegedly about it, though, as usual it's a patent pool. China got into mobile late in the game but, for years, now been leading developments because it's got little choice: the vast majority of China's internet traffic is for mobile devices.

                Price and power constraints also pushed Huawei to develop small and efficient base stations, which was one of the main reasons, along with price, why it became popular outside China: not only was it cheaper, it was also better.

            2. NeilPost

              Re: Trumpery

              Expensive Intel chips is that any better - full of bugs and vulnerabilities.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Trump is a nut job and I’m not supporting him in any way, but ditching Huawei is about much more than following trump."

          No, it's not. There's only one reason to do that and it's because Trump sees them as dangerous competitors.. Ergo, only a Trumpster would oppose Huawei, the rest will tell him to stuff his orders to where the sun doesn't shine.

          Spyware? You mean diffferent spyware than Cisco or Juniper? Only difference is that EU technical staff has access to Huawei software source, no such thing for any other.

          Remote off? Any switch you can find, has that capability. And you can bet manufacturer can use it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            The problem is simpler than that as demonstrated by yourself and many other posters on El 'Reg daily. It's about politics and muddying that in with any debate. It's not a case of being right or wrong it's whether the mob on here agree with your politics.

            Trump bad = thumbs up from most.

            Personally I don't know if Huawei is good, bad or otherwise but I do know debate on here is pretty pointless these days due to the hysterical response to anything which can be vaguely attached to a foreign president.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            If you seriously believe the source code Hauwei released for examination was everything in their systems then theres a bridge for sale you might be interested in. A piece of networking kit has multiple microcontrollers and CPUs all running their own bespoke firmware and the chances of anyone noticing if some code from one seemingly harmless chip on the corner of the board has not been fully disclosed is close to zero. The only way to be 100% sure what is on the chips is open then up and read the bits in the EEPROM direct.

            1. EnviableOne

              the "someone" you refer to are 500 top analysts from GCHQ at HCSEC

              they have the smartsa and the ability to rip all the code to shreds and from their reports, its full of holes, but there is nothing specific in the holes, and the code is so shoddy, Hanlon's Razor applies.

        4. Len

          Agreed, the Huawei story is so much more complex than just Trump throwing a hissy fit.

          The first report into Huawei from the Heritage Foundation dates back to 2008, when Trump was still raping people buying "education" at Trump University, women and reality TV viewers.

          There are essentially three different American groups with their own reasons for having issues with Huawei. Different timelines too.

          1) The Heritage Foundation and some people in Congress, based on sources in the US intelligence community about spying and backdoors. Their first report on Huawei dates back to 2008.

          2) The US State Department and Department of Justice for Huawei using a front company called SkyCom to evade sanctions on selling communications equipment to Iran. It emerged in 2013 that the reported "well-known company" behind SkyCom (and that hitherto been publicly referred to under a code name) was in fact Huawei. Obviously the investigators and prosecutors in that case will have known that it was Huawei years before 2013.

          3) Donald Trump who has a purely commercial reasons to dislike Huawei (as they are Chinese) and started his trade war in 2017.

          All these three groups have the same target but are frequently at loggerheads. Groups 1 and 2 don't understand that Trump would have no issue allowing Huawei in the US if he can trade it off in same trade deal. Trump doesn't care about national security or courts so sees no objection to making Huawei part of some mercantilist deal with Xi Jinping. Group 2 has issues with 1 and 3 for not following legal process and the requirements around discovery and transparency that are vital for a prosecution. Groups 1 and 3 don't care much for legal process and think that Group 2 is slow and too open.

          If Trump were to be replaced later this year only Group 3 would likely vanish from the scene. I doubt Group 1 would suddenly stop and Group 2 would definitely not stop.

          1. martinusher Silver badge

            The "Heritage Foundation" aren't a technical institute, they're a think tank funded to push neoconservative ideas. What would be surprising is if they didn't produce a report crticial of Chinese this or that.

            You're right that Trump is merely the tip of the boil. There's a lot festering underneath. But in a country where about 11% of the population can be persuaded that drinking bleach will immunize them from Covid then just about anything's possible if you put up the money. (And talking of money, my money is on any corproation who found their monpolly threatened in the shift from 4G to 5G, especially if their 5G solution is anemic, power hungry and expensive.)(Remember, in today's USofA lobbyists are a lot easier to hire than engineers.)

      2. Caustic Soda

        I said I think there is a fair risk of future Huawei deliveries being compromised. This isn't about Trump - I can't stand the guy. It is about getting telcos to be honest about the cost to them of a change in the regulatory framework.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "I said I think there is a fair risk of future Huawei deliveries being compromised. "

          Totally unlike Cisco which we *know* is compromised?

          Essentially you can choose CCP or NSA and neither is good option, but currently I'd choose CCP, less dangerous.

          Of course you could use Nokia or Ericsson hardware and avoid both.

      3. cyberdemon Silver badge

        > we voted for brexit

        I bloody well didn't..

        TBH having seen a street cabinet open and full of Huawei kit, I understand the "plight" of the telcos..

        However, for one I don't see what boycotting Huawei achieves - There are hundreds of other Chinese controlled brands out there that will still undercut any NSA-approved device on cost.

        And two, I have yet to be convinced of the necessity of 5G whatsoever. WTF is the point of it. I have heard political mouthpieces say that it will "power the internet of things revolution". Well what if I don't want an internet of thongs?

        Seriously, why the hell do we need 5G when we have fibre-optic cables?

        1. Glen 1

          Re: > we voted for brexit

          "Seriously, why the hell do we need 5G when we have fibre-optic cables?"

          because having a 5G mast hanging of the end of 1 fibre is less hassle than installing many FTTP connections.

          Remember, 3G speeds were already comparable to many folks home broadband in the few cases where it worked *reliably*. Part of the selling point of 4G was greater range/capacity with the same base stations in part due to frequency changes.

          According to my mobile network 5G should "average speeds of 150-200Mbps, and peak speeds will reach above 1Gbps". 5G can top out at 10 gigabits per second depending on equipment.

          If you want to pay for FTTP go ahead, but many of us in urban areas will be enjoying a better connection just by upgrading our phones in the next few years. For those in non urban areas it may take longer, but not as long as waiting for the fibre train to arrive, I'll wager.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: > we voted for brexit

            "According to my mobile network 5G should "average speeds of 150-200Mbps, and peak speeds will reach above 1Gbps". 5G can top out at 10 gigabits per second depending on equipment"

            Irrelevant as you (or anyone else) is *not* going to pay 10* price for that speed. You believe ISPs will sell that speed at the same price you get now 30Mbps?

            Won't happen, don't even dream about it.

            Also, all of that 5G "speed" is *shared* speed among all users. 200Mbs to 100 users isn't any more than *DSL now and *much less* than even slow fiber.

            Marketing BS and some people actually believe it.

            1. Glen 1

              Re: > we voted for brexit

              "Irrelevant as you (or anyone else) is *not* going to pay 10* price for that speed. You believe ISPs will sell that speed at the same price you get now 30Mbps?"

              10* the price? Try again.

              Vodafone £30 per month for unlimited data "fastest available" 5G price plan.

              Compare to Virgin media's "£28 a month for 18 months then £44 a month" for 100mb

              That's *right now*.

              Of course, thats signal dependant, and VM will no doubt increase speed to compete as 5G coverage increases.

              "Also, all of that 5G "speed" is *shared* speed among all users. 200Mbs to 100 users isn't any more than *DSL now and *much less* than even slow fiber."

              Try again. 150-200 is the expected average. Its the "above 1Gbps" peak part that is shared between phones. Even then, it will be the back-haul that's the bottleneck.(underlying tech tops out at 10Gbps as previously stated)

              If you want actual, tested, reality, my phone on *4G* just hit 9mb in a speed test on *2* bars. National average looks to be about 25mb. Source

              With 5G looking to be 10 times faster, it is most definitely comparable to a regular internet connection. Hell, only 4 times faster than the national 4G average is comparable.


              Im not going to specifically upgrade for 5G, nor would I want it as a home connection (I don't want cariier NAT), but you laugh it off as if its a fantasy, when a decent 4G signal can *already* beat a crappy wet string ADSL connection in some places. I know, because *I've already done it* with a 4G router on a client site.

              1. Glen 1

                Re: > we voted for brexit

                Apologies for replying to my own post.

                Regarding cost of different speed broadband.

                The example I used above for Virgin Media's 100mb connection was so I was comparing like for like (approximately). For the 30mb figure given in the post I was replying to, here are some UK prices for context:

                • 36mb for £23.99
                • BT 36mb for £26.99
                • Vodafone ADSL 35mb for £23

                So Vodafone's 5G price (£30) is more expensive, but comparable

              2. Richard Jones 1

                Re: > we voted for brexit

                @ Glen 1 for some of us, even a crappy wet string ADSL connection is better than a 'No Service' mobile non-connection. The wet string connection is shared between at least 15 wired devices connected behind a NAT router with the 'No service' mobile radio link dealing with two mobiles that mainly work tethered to the wet string via Wi-Fi rather than the 'No service' mobile network.

                Frankly, a change, any change, could only be positive for some of us.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: > we voted for brexit

            "because having a 5G mast hanging of the end of 1 fibre is less hassle than installing many FTTP connections."

            Yea, one *shared* connection to anyone hanging nearby.

            Also that mast won't have anything more than 10Gbps connection anyway (because of money) and that's also shared to all 5G users. Put 100 users and there's not much bandwith even in theory.

            I see 5G as major BS which is used to sell new phones. No more, no less.

            That fibre on the other hand is 10Gbps *to every user*. Of course ISP will charge arm and leg for that, but it's still 100* more bandwith than a shared 5G connection.

            1. Glen 1

              Re: > we voted for brexit

              "That fibre on the other hand is 10Gbps *to every user*"

              "Also that mast won't have anything more than 10Gbps connection anyway "

              The fibres to the mast, and the fibres to the premises terminate in the same place - at the exchange. There isn't going to be enough back haul there for 10Gbps per user either way. That's unless you're leasing the whole line, and paying accordingly.

              Complaining about contention for one, but conveniently ignoring it for the other, just makes you look ignorant. Fibre will always be faster point to point, but that doesn't matter if the bottle neck is somewhere else.

              "I see 5G as major BS which is used to sell new phones."

              Something can be both useful and require marketing. Just look at how wifi has changed over the years. Electric cars? Smartphones? Twas ever thus.

          3. Scroticus Canis

            Re: > "selling point of 4G was greater range/capacity" - not around here

            I live in a Southend-on-Sea suburb; O2's 4G here (Tesco Mobile) does not provide any data service whatsoever, not in the house, not in the gardens nor in the local high street or train station. Nada, nix, efokoli (Fanagalo for nothing).

            There is a good signal, calls and texts are fine but data just wont work (no internet connection) and O2 said everything is working fine! 3G on the other hand works for the data apps, but only at 7-8Mb/s.

            Around Southend there seems to be several O2 4G no-data areas. Really useful when you need mobile banking in a shop or business or want to Skype/FaceTime people.

            If they can't make 4G work properly then I hold no hope that a 5G upgrade would be of any use. Maybe including Huawei kit would make the 4G work.

            1. Keythong

              Re: > "selling point of 4G was greater range/capacity" - not around here

              As the frequency goes up, signal reception will get worse, because as the wave length gets shorter, so does the size of obstacles, it can get past, gets smaller, so more cell nodes are required.

              Short Wave AM Radio can travel huge distances because it has a long enough wavelength to get past most obstacles, and can bounce off the ionosphere; the same is unfortunately the case for 50Hz and 60Hz mains power!

          4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: > we voted for brexit

            "because having a 5G mast hanging of the end of 1 fibre is less hassle than installing many FTTP connections."

            Hanging an FTTC cabinet on the end of 1 fibre is also less hassle than installing many FTTP connections.

    2. David 164

      How do you know it non compromise Spyware kits, are you going to rip each peace of kit apart and do a detail analysis of every single bit of kit use to make sure the Russians or the Chinese didn't slip something in during the manufacturing process?

      1. PhilipN Silver badge

        Where is Ave when you need him

        rip each piece apart --- -isn't that what the engineers are supposed to do before an order is placed?

        The UK telco system is equipment taken at face value?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Russians or the Chinese didn't slip something in during the manufacturing process?"

        Cisco has been doing that since day 1: "NSA approved hardware" .... you know why it is NSA-approved?

        NSA backdoor, baked into hardware. Same as Intel/AMD "management module" which has only one actual function: A backdoor for NSA.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So why are the UK (and US) telcos not RIPPING OUT CISCO?

          ......because it's OK for the NSA and GCHQ to do the spying stuff.......


          .......but not OK for those upstart Chinese TO DO THE EXACT SAME THING.


          Can Boris and Donald spell "hypocricy"?????? Clearly not!

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      >The waters are being muddied deliberately by telcos.

      And the waters are being deliberately muddled by politicians with vested interests throwing FUD around: Just what aspect of US sanctions actually impact the “reliability” of Huawei equipment? Remember Huawei use ARM processors that are “UK-origin technologies”...

      Also I would not be surprised if the ARM-Huawei licence agreements have been rewritten to show that all ARM is supplying Huawei going forward is "support" from ARM China...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There is no such thing as an ARM processor. ARM is simply a kit of parts that processors can be built from Lego style and nothing in that approach precludes building in spyware in the hardware. In fact it makes it a fuck load easier.

        And FYI thanks to the fuckwittery of UK politicians ARM is now owned by Softbank who are japanese. Only in Britain could the inbred ruling elite allow the crown jewels of our tech industry be flogged to the highest foreign bidder like some horse.

    4. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      "Nobody is talking about making them remove Huawei from legacy networks"

      Isn't that exactly what they are talking about? At least that's how I parsed the article.

    5. big_D Silver badge

      Given that GCHQ has spent at least half a decade pouring over the source code and hasn't found anything, I'm guessing it isn't spyware ridden - or when it is, then it is GCHQ compliant spyware - although they did not a bunch on "normal" security bugs.

      Also, it isn't replacing 5G gear, it is removing it from the existing 2G, 3G and 4G as well as the network core.

      And, "only half a billion", that is still an extra half a billion that they will have to source from end users. That means higher contract prices going forward, for example.

      1. NeilPost

        Removing alleged spyware or inserting their own ??

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        >Given that GCHQ has spent at least half a decade pouring over the source code and hasn't found anything...

        Forgetting your Edward Snowden; the issue isn't that the Huawei software is or might be compromised, the fact is that today US government agencies (aided by allies) have fully compromised global electronic communications.

        Clearly, the issue with Huawei kit is that it is much harder to compromise because its manufacture is outside of the NSA's sphere of influence and thus the NSA (and its friends) stand to lose their data sources if the mobile networks adopt it to any great extent. Hence all the lobbying and spread of disinformation about Huawei...

        The fact that our mobile networks have become potentially over-dependent upon equipment from China is a different problem.

    6. NeilPost

      Any evidence on the ‘spyware-compromised kit’, and what about all the Huawei kit that is Core to Openreach’s 21CN network.

      Note CIA investment in a supposedly honourable Swiss Crypto AG company exposed earlier in the year.

      Personally I think the Chinese are far less of a concern than the USA..... supposedly a 5 Eyes partner.

  2. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Using the sanctions that Trump has imposed as a reason not to use Huawei seems a rather poor excuse. Where as no doubt Huawei's growth has been impeded by the sanctions they aren't exactly at risk of going bankrupt. And even if Huawei suffer supply chain shortages then telcos can just buy more Nokia or Ericsson kit to fill the gaps.

    Plus with Trump in the Whitehouse you would have more luck spinning a roulette wheel than trying to predict what the orange one is going to do next regarding China. He might not even be in power in another 6 months time if the election doesn't go well so the sanctions may get lift by whoever replaces him.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Using the sanctions that Trump has imposed as a reason not to use Huawei seems a rather poor excuse.

      It's probably one of the better ones, and has always been one of the biggest risks, ie security of supply. At some point China might have said 'no tin for you!' and blocked exports. Instead, the US has said 'No IP for you!', forcing Chinese companies to look for non-US alternatives.

      So as can often be the case with sanctions, they can backfire and stimulate the target's economy to become more self-suficient.. And then won't be buying the sanctioned stuff if/when the sanctions are lifted.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        It will backfire.

        Once China is much more tech self sufficient...and that will only take few years, they just go. No Earth Exports to US companies and thise supplying them.

        Then all of a sudden, Chinese gear becomes pretty much all you can buy.

        China is playing the long game, they have far deeper pockets and bigger long term goals than the US.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It could be that China are playing the long game, but, it could also be that poor decisions by the procurement are also an issue.

          I have heard that the European based suppliers for equipment were not invited to tender for the next generation network. In addition to this, the Huawei equipment was half the price of the other selected vendor/competitor.

          Essentially, the need for the highest profit drives companies to the lowest cost, and if the UK government has no strategic plan or understanding, or maybe they just don't care, then western capability is surely diminished.

          Given that 2G standard was based on a European collaboration project, and now governments are openly requiring Huawei to develop the 5G standards, this just shows that governments are incoherent in their understanding and strategy for technical services/products. The malaise in the west, will be its downfall in terms of competitiveness and future prosperity.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            I have heard that the European based suppliers for equipment were not invited to tender for the next generation network. In addition to this, the Huawei equipment was half the price of the other selected vendor/competitor.

            If you mean BT's 21CN, that was only half true. All the usual suspects were invited to tender. Problem was at that time, there were kind of 2 different vendor strategies. So Cisco & Juniper pushing their BFR core routers and IP (ok, MPLS). But the demand was shifting away from 'legacy' SDH to Ethernet.

            So the problem was router vendors couldn't offer high speed/port density solutions. Cisco & Juniper's cost per Ethernet port was orders of magnitude more expensive, and with low port density, had the prospect of replacing old SDH 'Mux Mountains' with much more expensive router mountains. Both those vendors also shot themselves in the foot by a stubborn reluctance not to offer SP (Service Provider) features on their Ethernet switches.. Even though some of those switches at the time could be 'persuaded' to run IOS(SP). But switches cost less than routers, and vendors didn't want to cannibalise that market.

            AFAIK there were some attempts to partner on bids, and I think Ciena was proposed to do the high speed & DWDM core... But that meant dual vendors, and less features/functionality than a single vendor solution, and again cost. So Huawei won because they offered core DWDM, routing/switching and EAN (Ethernet Access Network) in one solution. At the time, I was working on a similar project for another carrier, and we'd come to much the same conclusion.. The usual suspects couldn't offer Ethernet services at a price point the market was demanding. And thanks to BT (and others) feature demands, it pushed Huawei to develop better systems integration across their product line.

            Irony is of course both Cisco and Juniper were instrumental in pushing tag switching, which became MPLS, then GMPLS, and failed miserably on execution. Because routers.. So as core speeds increased, their share of that market decreased because their BFRs weren't really needed. So now cores tend to end up as Huawei, Infinera etc packet/frame switched with routing as a service.. And that's a service that's increasingly virtualised and so can be run on servers, not routers. I think Deutsche Telecom was one of the first carriers to use *NIX boxes instead of 'routers'.

            ..this just shows that governments are incoherent in their understanding and strategy for technical services/products. The malaise in the west, will be its downfall in terms of competitiveness and future prosperity.

            Indeed, although I blame the vendors complacency, or failure to understand market shifts. Carriers understood that routers made little point on an access network, ie 1 port facing customer, 1 port facing network, so where's the routing? Which is why router vendors aren't really in that market. Except sometimes under duress. I once had a customer who was very offended that we'd delivered a gigabit Ethernet service via fibre, but a competitor's presentation was via around 6U of tin. Customer was very put out that we didn't have a box on the fibre when there was no need for one.. And was why we could offer services at a much lower cost.

            But most of that is/was less of a government problem than an industry one. Government's role is more to support a tech industry, not insert themelves into procurement programmes. Especially when it's something few politicians understand. Possible exception being Daniel Kawczynski, but then he was a sales chap..

    2. Keythong

      It's really about commercial warfare, and Five Eyes domestic and foreign spying.

      US corporations are losing increasing business to cheaper, and even better made, Chinese products, because decades ago, bribed Western politicians betrayed their country, by allowed their corporations to outsource production, thus technology secrets, to China and other seemingly lower financial cost countries.

      USA government purchase sanctions, and USA government imperialist coercion to stop some Chinese purchases, is not a adequate solution. The real solution must include accepting that they f'd up, so must force Western corporations to stop outsourcing production to China.., for at least domestic sales, and end availability of any technology secrets in/to China and other commercial competitor countries, including leaks via US universities and research organisations.

      In addition USA (shadow government) spy agencies are well known to promote compromised cryptography, requiring back-doors/feeds, or even covertly installing them via intercepted deliveries, and other five eyes countries are probably also involved, for both domestic and foreign spying, but Chinese businesses will not support Western spying, and even add better encryption, which is harder to compromise.

  3. gautam

    5G ?

    Where is 5G? After having bagged the spectrum, networks have shied away from investing in the infrastruture needed. Limited one street per city launches gives them bragging rights, but the HAVE NOT DONE anything costing near enough billions they claim it will cost to rip off 5G.

    They are rooting for Govt. handouts and subsidies.

    Greedy barstewards, them lot.

    1. Nifty

      Re: 5G ?

      How does it go? Ah yes, handouts or the kitten gets it.

    2. Keythong

      Re: 5G ?

      It's probably better if it is rolled out slower, because we may discover some problems from the more uniform, and higher power, RF exposure, so have more time to notice the downsides and halt roll-out, before dependency causes denial.

      Cell RF, let-alone 5G, shouldn't have been rolled out, until genuinely honest RF safety levels had been set for all RF transmission (with no corporate or military influence), grouped by frequency range and modulation type, and guidance for higher power level use and maximum exposure duration, in so environments, like there is for X-Ray and nuclear radiation.

      I suggest that people read the book "The Invisible Rainbow" to discover the curious history of electricity and discover that RF is maybe not as harmless to humans (and other life) as we have been told by authorities (due to comprehensive Western corporate/military suppression, including by Sigmund Freud) and that as the frequency rises, so does the effective contained power, with any divergence from a continuous pure sine-wave, like modulation, including pulsing, can make it more like ionising radiation.

      I also suggest reading the mentioned the book "The Fourth Phase of Water", to see that even seemingly trivial ambient EMF can cause significant effects, like continuously, linear motor like, ionic propulsion of sap up many metre high trees, with no need for moving parts; how capillary action really works! What's more, this effect can be more intense nearer to more intense EMF, disproving the idea called "Brownian motion"! The book demonstrates this phase in numerous experiments. All life obviously utilises this 4th Phase of Water, and this 4th Phase is probably present in some other non-aqueous liquids too!

      Life is significantly electrical, RF and semiconducting, so is vulnerable to RFI jamming, which can cause damage, including in the Mitochondria and the semiconducting Myelin Sheath, at a fraction of heating power, with 5 to 10% of people significantly genetically vulnerable, and more people may start to notice damage to themselves from the massive increase in RF from DECT, cell phones, WiFi, and Bluetooth, and proprietary cordless peripherals.

  4. David 164

    All sides in this debate is playing project fear card.

    Fact is, if the chinese want to spy on us they are going to spy on us, Britain not having a huawei of our own going around installing gear on mobile networks around the world didn't stop GCHQ from hacking country wide mobile phone systems , it isn't going to stop the chinese. This is why GCHQ just don't about what equipment they use, they know if they can hack anything, the chinese can.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd rather have GCHQ and the NSA 'hacking' our networks than China. People who say otherwise don't understand what's really going on here.

      China see 'the west' as adversaries; opposition to their own ideology. They are playing the long game - insidiously using our own capitalist systems to destroy our industrial capabilities; they do this by undercutting our native industries using state subsidised businesses which are all ultimately under their control. Taking advantage of the short-term decision making and the personal greed of CEO's, shareholders, politicians. Once our own industries have all gone bust (which has been slowly happening for years), or best case in the instance of technology firms all have their products manufactured in China, we are completely at their mercy. They can shut down the supply chain and we will have no means to support our own needs - the recent disruption of supplies form China due to Covid19 should be a serious wake-up call for those western states sleepwalking in to this trap.

      Now consider the addition of backdoors in to what will be existing tech and industrial infrastructure and not only will they have the capability to halt all progress, but, to hit the kill switch on any systems already in place, including essential systems like communications, power distribution, transport systems etc. Doing so could very quickly lead to civil unrest, public disorder, possibly anarchy and civil war. Forget nukes; that's a powerful weapon which would very quickly bring any adversaries of the Chinese state to their knees. And to think the British government have been talking about having new nuclear power stations built by the Chinese to save a few quid, that would be the cherry on the cake - insane!

      So to all of those babbling on about the tech merits of Huawei vs Cisco, 5G speeds or the cost of replacing equipment, you are all missing the point.

  5. carl0s

    Are there two Donas in the story, one a man and the other a woman? I noticed a couple of typos and double-words in the story so perhaps it's just an editorial oversight.

  6. StargateSg7

    Utter BOLLOCKS !!!!!

    Take two 4.3 GHz Ryzen-9 CPU's, interleaved at 50-to-100 nanosecond skews and sampled the PCI-bus lines (all 64 of them) with a slight nanosecond resolution offset and BOOM, I've got the ability to sample and export the 8+ GHz signals usable for 5G communications input and output !!!

    BOOM! That only cost me $1500 to make the equivalent of a $500000 US (350000 Euros) 1000+ Simultaneous User 5G router!!!

    Put in 20 of 4.3 GhZ Ryzen-9's skewed at 50 to 100 NanoSeconds and I've got my 80 Ghz worth of bandwidth to sample higher end 5G for 5000+ simultaneous users AND BOOM !!!! It only cost me $25000 US and the cost of a power amplifier and analog signal mixer for the antennae. ALL the software is available to make SDR (Software Defined Radio) for 5G input/output using NOTHING MORE than the PCI bus line on cheap consumer CPUs on an interleaved basis to and from shared memory!

    Each incoming 5G waveform is sliced apart and sent to a separate CPU for actual sampling via PCI-bus. So long the fast 5G signal can be subsampled at a specific rate offset by X-number of nanoseconds, you can sample ANY incoming signal from KHz to high GHz if you have enough CPUs to interleave with!

    As each CPU sub-samples it's X-offset-part of the incoming waveform, it will send it's samples to main shared memory to allow ANOTHER MAIN CONTROLLER CPU to do the actual digital signal interpretation and recovery of 5G packet data and error correction codes.

    For 5G output, each data packet is virtually created in memory as a sub-sampled part of a 5G waveform which is then sent out via the PCI-bus lines with a nanosecond X-offset to a simple main signal mixer and power amplifier that simply combines all waveforms from each CPU together into a single proper 5G compatible waveform that in reality becomes the equivalent a 5, 8 and to 80 GHz sampled 5G waveform!

    The INTERLEAVE and slight X-nanosecond offset of each CPU's processed waveform REPRESENTS smaller slices of a FAST input/output signal that would normally be handled by VERY EXPENSIVE Gallium Arsenide / GaN monolithic RF and microwave circuits!

    BUT by interleaving CHEAP common CPUs and doing input signal sampling and signal reconstruction via the PCI-bus, ANY TYPE of waveform and be received and created/output if you have enough CPUs and a large enough shared memory buffer! Spending $20000 US and adding some extra RAM is a LOT cheaper than spending $500k to over a million dollars for a 5G router and switching system! It's JUST SOFTWARE NOW! The parts are CHEAP !!!


    BOOM !!!! That took me a mere 24 hours to program the SDR! DONE !!! All yours BT!

    Go Buy some Ryzen-9 CPUs, some ECC RAM and some power amplifiers and signal mixers!



    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If it's so simple like that then why not start your own telco kit enterprise? We could certainly do with some more competition given the state of the networks here.

    2. khjohansen

      boom... ??

      Now, can you make it fit in a shoebox - and I'd like it to run off solar or PoE.

      Y'know, like the Huawei gear that I already have!!

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: boom... ??

        Now, can you make it fit in a shoebox - and I'd like it to run off solar or PoE.

        And shave $20,000 off the price. Yes, it could be done with a bunch of AMD processors, but that would need a board to support that many CPUs, and some hefty power supplies & cooling.

        But the magic comes from creating a reference design using COTS components, then figuring out how to strip out the functions you don't need, and bake the stuff you do into SOC(s), ASICs etc.. Which is how vendors grab market share.

        1. StargateSg7

          Re: boom... ??

          Its actually A LOT CHEAPER to just use the AMD Ryzen chips!

          I basically create a simple PC-101 size board containing just the CPU, RAM and a SUPER accurate CLOCK that has very low jitter and a KNOWN nanosecond amount I can skew/offset it from a master clock. I put no PCI slots on-board, just the PCI lanes to sample and incoming signal.

          PCI-bus is a digital signal but I'm sampling through a ADC convertor that outputs a specific 14 or 16 bit value that will be put into a PCI-bus packet/datagram which will represent part of the 5G waveform. I will put that sampled waveform ADC value that is offset by X-number of nanoseconds into shared memory where a main CPU will then INTERPRET the COMBINED output of all the interleaved CPUs PCI-bus waveform samples as a single Software Defined Radio signal and extract 5G data packets from that and then send the final data to any machine on my network.

          For output, I take my data and create a master digitized 5G waveform placed in shared memory and sub-sample that and send that signal out on an interleaved basis to the PCI bus where a DAC will send it to a mixer which combines ALL waveforms from each CPU into a master 5G waveform which represents the 5G data packets.

          After the interleaved/offset signals are mixed into a single waveform, that then gets sent out to a power amplifier and an antennae for broadcast. Since the PCI-bus is so wide and so fast (many gigabytes per second!), I could do about 1000 users simultaneously using only two CPU's. For 5000+ simultaneously users, I have to use the 60 to 80 GHz parts of the EM spectrum which means I need many more CPUs to interleave to allow me to properly skew/offset incoming waveforms as sub-samples of a larger 5G signal.

          Anyways, 20 CPUs for $25,000 US is CHEAP compared to buying a Huawei, Nokia or Ericsson 5G router/switcher AND it's using nothing but COTS CPUs, RAM and PCI-bus lanes on a stacked series of CHEAP-to-build PC-101 boards!


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Easy peasy, then.

      I can provide you with 2 Ryzen CPUs and other bits. Can you make me one 5G outfit, with which I can share the signals along the whole of my street and recoup the costs and the 5G becomes almost free? The 4G (forget 5G) internet speeds are a joke around here, so will be a boon.

      It will also showcase proof of concept and a great advert for your ingenuity. IF it catches on, we could start up a new business and venture cpaitlaists will be queueing up to finance the deal.


      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Easy peasy, then.

        I can provide you with 2 Ryzen CPUs and other bits. Can you make me one 5G outfit, with which I can share the signals along the whole of my street and recoup the costs and the 5G becomes almost free?

        That'd be one way to summon Ofcom. It's one of those things that's technically feasible, but as soon as you touch the airside interface, especially for licensed spectrum.. You hit problems. It'll sort of happen anyway because mobile operators have been trying to do 'seamless off-load' for years, ie dump data off their expensive networks and onto someone elses.. But for some reason, network operators aren't exactly keen on giving the mobile operators a free ride. Especially as it's tricky to do well. Easy enough if a user's static/tethered, not so easy if they're moving, even on foot.

        1. StargateSg7

          Re: Easy peasy, then.

          It's easy enough to just use UNLICENCED spectrum! There LOTS of reserved space for DIY signals above 60 GHz and between 2.2 GHz to 6 GHz. The AMD Ryzens are so fast and accurate, I can keep a 5G signal to a band that is as accurate a mere 20 KHz separation between "channels" !

          I already have the Ryzens and and already working on the SDR software part. The Ryzen-9 PCI-101 board design WILL BE FREE AND OPEN SOURCE!


          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Easy peasy, then.

            I already have the Ryzens and and already working on the SDR software part. The Ryzen-9 PCI-101 board design WILL BE FREE AND OPEN SOURCE!

            That's nice. But presumably you'll be getting all necessary licensing and certifications so that it could be used in a public network? And be able to offer support for carrier customers who'd be looking to order in 1K-10K units? Which is kind of the problem with 5G, ie for NR FR2 in a metro config, it'll support N users.. providing it's a mini-metro and users are less than a few hundred meters from the RAN.

            But that's one of those challenges with 5G, namely to get the bandwidth, you want FR2, but then your range drops and you need thousands of cells.. So costs need to be kept as low as possible.

            1. StargateSg7

              Re: Easy peasy, then.

              I'm used to Canada and the USA, where SO LONG AS I USE UNLICENCED spectrum, I only need U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and Canadian DOC (Department of Communications) device-specific RFI and EMI certifications (i.e. FCC Class B device) that accepts external interference without damage and doesn't otherwise emit interfering EMI.

              It's barely $20,000 to get the USA/Canada certifications and EU is another $15,000 per device class.

              Not a big deal!

              At 2.2 to 6 GHz depending upon the output power level, the 5G device range is starting from 200 metres out (i.e. with multipath interference from buildings/terrain) to as much as 5 km line-of-sight. At 60 to 80 GHz for high bandwidth 5G, the maximum range is around 300 metres and can't go through concrete walls or steel framed buildings very easily without severe signal degradation.

              When you're using PC-101 boards, just stack them in a box and you're good to go.

              Once you have FCC, DOC device-class certifications, we can give away the design as-is and you can use ANY COMPATIBLE CPU that has a base clock speed of 4 GHz (i.e. Any Ryzen-9) --- I like AMD CPUs because they have LOTS of PCI-lanes (64+) for me to sub-sample a fast waveform with 50-to-100 nanosecond time slices that I can interpolate and DSP to recover the original 5G waveform for data packet information that can be further interpreted as individual user network traffic.

              AND since AMD Ryzen-9 CPUs are general purpose, I can simply update the SOFTWARE to create ANY sort of waveform interpretation ESPECIALLY for the upcoming 6G and 8G standards that are now in research! These boxes NEVER go obsolete so long as they have electricity and signal amplifications circuits on them that have decent capacitors that don't dry out on them! Since it is SDR (Software Defined Radio) I can simple reflash their BIOS to take into account ANY new and MULTIPLE of QAM-1024, OFDM, PCM, etc. etc. at the PHYS-level of the OSI communications stack!

              This means I can do completely CUSTOM BASEBAND operating systems WITH quantum-computing resistant encryption (i.e. one-time pads, invariate, etc.)

              Like I said, we've been working on this for a while using general purpose CPUs to do interleaved PCI-bus based communications signal input/output. We're in fact DONE and just need to release a CLEAN Open Source design that doesn't infringe upon the BASIC Qualcomm, Huawei, Intel, etc pooled patents portfolio (Which we HAVE DONE at the PHYS level!) We can release the PDF file vector design pretty much at any time.


              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: Easy peasy, then.

                I'm used to Canada and the USA, where SO LONG AS I USE UNLICENCED spectrum, I only need U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and Canadian DOC (Department of Communications) device-specific RFI and EMI certifications (i.e. FCC Class B device) that accepts external interference without damage and doesn't otherwise emit interfering EMI.

                Not sure that's true. I've not done Canada (mores the pity, +/- politics) but I'm pretty sure there are caveats. So spectrum may be unlicensed in specific cases, but if you start sharing services, then you may or may not become an public network/operator and require more paperwork. If you're just selling systems, then it becomes the user's risk.. But beware patents, as you say. Especially whether you can play in the deep end of the pool, or not. Generally that just means the swim-club won't sue each other, not anyone else that dives in.

                But respect for developing this. I suspect part of the anti-Huawei lobbying is also linked to Nokia etc trying to push Open-RAN & not become an also-RAN in the 5G market. Biggest obstacle to overcome though is operator's natural caution, ie they want to buy in huge volumes, with support etc.. It's been interesting chatting with Huawei's business types over the years about volume. We had a BD wanting a discount on <100 units of some tin, Huawei pointed out they supply in the 10K+ volume to support networks in China, India etc. Those markets are just on a different scale to other countries. I guess Canada's also much like Australia, ie massive geography to cover, but small populations.. So outside the big populations, providing services ain't cheap.

                1. StargateSg7

                  Re: Easy peasy, then.

                  We completely BYPASS the patent pool since we have unique technology and we also HAVE the legal and monetary firepower to fight back FOR DECADES against even a Huawei or Apple if need be!

                  One thing our corporate adversaries have realized over the years, WE LIKE FIGHTING FOR DECADES in the courtrooms! We've gotten REALLY GOOD AT IT in terms of making it expensive and EXTREMELY time consuming to fight us in the world of patent cases! We are of the SCORCHED EARTH TYPE! We fight ALL legal battles to the BITTER END and we haven't lost a case yet!

                  Anyways, we can supply PATENT-FREE board designs AND SDR software backed by the courts in US, Canada, Europe, Japan, India, etc. as we so wish using nothing more than COTS (Common Off-the-Shelf) components using a MUCH SIMPLIFIED manufacturing system that DIY (DO It Yourself) friendly since we concentrated so much on SIMPLICITY and ease-of-manufacture!

                  In terms of Canada and the USA communications carrier laws, we create INDEPENDENT mesh radio networks that are peer-to-peer and fully decentralized using on-the-fly/ad-hoc voice/video/text network creation and dissolution. Ergo, NO carrier-based legal framework is applied or even applicable to us.

                  AND since we can do frequency-hopping AND spread spectrum using SDR technology based upon 2020-era COTS AMD Ryzen-7/Ryzen-9 CPU hardware there is continuous upgradability paths at unheard of prices with TENS of THOUSANDS+ simultaneous users per "virtualized cell" in both URBAN AND RURAL areas!

                  We PREVENT interference with licenced AND unlicenced radio spectrum users by listening in on multiple channels ALL at the same time and hopping between channels that are free from major usage AND also dividing and packing multiple user-streams into custom multi-plexed data packet communications stream via spread spectrum that fit OVER ONE HUNDRED TIMES the current data bandwidth of today's restricted-channel-spectrum 4G/LTE communications.

                  The technology used in encrypted military radios we now bring to the consumer via OUR OWN PATENTED and proprietary technology FOR FREE via OPEN SOURCE BOARD DESIGNS and OPEN SOURCE SDR voice/video/text source code !!!

                  To put it mildly, our technology puts almost EVERYTHING that Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Thales, Raytheon, etc have in their data communications product portfolios to shame! We ALSO HAVE another product in the woodworks that COMPLETELY BYPASSES 5G/6G/8G technology and takes SECURELY ENCRYPTED (i.e. anti-quantum computing) ultra-high bandwidth wireless communications (terabit+ speeds!) to a whole 'nother level! That NEW technology we're just finishing off the Research and Development on is WHY we can offer COMPLETELY FREE and OPEN SOURCE 4G/5G board designs and open source SDR software!


      2. EnviableOne

        Re: Easy peasy, then.

        you have 4G, 3.5 is the best we have here

    4. Keythong

      Maybe not cheaper, overall!

      The power consumption will probably be a lot higher than dedicated 5G circuitry, and it'll probably be a lot more bulky, more fragile, and less reliable!

      1. StargateSg7

        Re: Maybe not cheaper, overall!

        We can make PC-101 boards EXTREMELY RUGGED -- I'm used to Mil-Spec 810g and IP-69 device design so everything on my boards is ALWAYS fully rugged with waterproofing, dust ingress protection, drop proofing and anti-vibration isolation, high humidity/liquid immersion environments and operating temperature ranges from -150 C to +300 C (i.e. working within jet/rocket engines and space-rated systems) this type of ruggedness with internal chip and motherboard cooling and proper hyper-rugged active and passively liquid cooled case designs is my specialty!

        Once my design is done you just CNC or stamp the cases out of thick 8000-series aluminum, add silicone sealing and anti-vibration gel-pad immersion, active/passive silicone oil immersion cooling and fully rugged mil-spec motherboard manufacture and it would MAYBE cost you $150 to build (CPU and ECC RAM is extra!) per board and case at build lots of 1000 boards and cases!

        Anything over 10,000 boards + cases will bring the price down to $30 US depending upon the grade of aluminum used (you can use 6000 series!) and coat the interior and exterior of the hard shell case with a high heat resistant aluminum oxide ceramic!

        I can even power the thing with induction so the case is FULLY SEALED with just an antennae assembly which is also ruggedized OR I can just print a copper fractal antenna right on the case itself and glaze it over with a baked Alumina glass for protection!

        Not that hard and STILL FAR BETTER than what Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei have PLUS i've made sure we have NO patent infringement since we've changed quite few of the communications modulation techniques AND internal software operations to ENSURE the main 5G patent pool is NOT infringed in any way! (Our parent company has the financial and legal resources to do this!)

        We have OTHER far more advanced high-bandwidth communications systems than old-school 4G and 5G radio, so we've SKIPPED 4G/5G for our main comms technology. We don't mind helping out the Free and Open Source Software/Hardware community with out FREE board and case designs and our FREE SDR software!


        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Maybe not cheaper, overall!

          Where can I order one…

          1. StargateSg7

            Re: Maybe not cheaper, overall!

            I''ll upload the DIY plans on Github along with our SDR software as vectorized masks within a PDF file that you can just print off on any old printer using plastic film for your photolithography motherboard etchings.

            Just add Ryzen-9 CPU, some 16-bit ADC/DACs, a case (which is included in the design) which you can 3D print for ten dollars worth of ABS plastic and some ECC ram chips and the onboard 24 volts at 8 amps DC power unit (AMD Ryzens need a lot of power at 142 Watts!) and you are done hardware wise. Written and Visual Motherboard Assembly Instructions and parts list with multiple alternative supplier COTS parts are all included! Even the soldering instructions and chip pin-through and chip-to-mobo securing instructions are included!

            Download our SDR software from Github and you're good to go for 2-to-80 GHz SDR-based FULLY ENCRYPTED voice/video/text communications that can support 1000 simultaneous voice users from a SINGLE module. Since this is ad-hoc peer-to-peer MESH-based networking with up to a 5km range on 4G bands at normal 0.5 watt to 5 watt power levels (with the right power amplifier and a good antennae), that means you don't need much power for congested/multi-pathed urban terrain.

            I should also note that we've been able to do 200 km (120 miles) point-to-point at 25 megabits per second over water (i.e. Vancouver to Northern Vancouver Island) and 60+ km (across Salish Sea Vancouver to Comox) with bigger higher-gain antennae and more power! The fastest speeds for long distance using non-damaging-to-human-body broadcast power levels is up to 100 megabits per second. Since most voice calls use only 64 kilobits a second, we can do 1000 users simultaneously on voice-only calls using ONE Ryzen-9 processor.

            At 300 to 1000 metre ranges, Gigabit+ 5G speeds have been attained point-to-point WITH THE CAVEAT that the RF signals in those higher 5G bands simply don't go through walls very well are are quite short range at LESS THAN 1000 metres usually down to 300 metres. You need to add an outdoor high-gain antenna for Gigabit download and upload speeds!

            Look on Github in a few weeks once we finish/finalize the designs.

            Just do a Google Search, a REDDIT search or a GITHUB search for DIY Encrypted 5G SDR Ryzen Motherboard Plans and our Github files and plans will show up!


  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All for this damn US deal

    If you mean that BT and Vodafone are telling the cold hard truth, but stupid people who refuse to face reality, and bury their heads in the sand whilst dreaming of the good old English Empire, then, yes, "Project Fear" seems to be the correct name for it.

    As for the deal, what's worse, all the top economic experts have said a deal with the US wouldn't be all that beneficial. Certainly, with the risks is causes us with a EU deal, along with the drop in food standards and prescription drugs/NHS infiltration, and the fact US firms could sue the government if any policy changes affect their profit (hence relegating us from a top influencer in the biggest trading block in the world, to being effectively dictated to by US corporations) any US deal will be disastrous.

    There are only 2 reasons for the government pushing ahead with this:

    1 - Lots of money for themselves and their rich friends,.

    2 - To show the BREXIT morons that we're in control (despite it meaning we lose even more control, the tabloid readers will see it as a success. No doubt Cummings will come up with a new three word slogan)

    At least I won't have to deal with nominet bullshit anymore - no more .uk domains for us going forward once the current lot expire in 3 years time!

  9. src

    A few blackouts are a small price to pay to remove the CCP from the UK infrastructure. Just do it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Where do you think the drvice you're currently using was made?

    2. Fred Dibnah

      Did you vote for Brexit?

  10. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Trade Deal - Boris drives a hard bargain

    Trump: Precondition - No Huawei in your telecoms infrastructure.

    Boris: We take your Chlorinated Chicken and keep Huawei

    Trump; Deal

  11. PhilipN Silver badge

    5-year plan

    Perhaps someone who actually has an inkling can give us a heads-up as to where the technology will be in 5 years' time.

    Frankly I haven't a bloody clue about anything in three months' time never mind 5 years. By then all of this will be irrelevant.

    I already have 5G (not in the UK) and I do not care.

    By the way, you do know that China - probably the most wired-up (i.e. wireless) country on the planet - is forging ahead on a number of fronts apart from 5G - A.I, for example? The domestic GDP per capita is now such that economic and technological advances are self-sustaining regardless of Trump's attempt to roll the clock back a hundred years,

  12. lsces

    No control over network traffic?

    The only thing that comes to mind over this is that in order for a third party to access information from inside the providers network there should be SOME log of that activity? Or are these mobile providers providing free bandwidth to some third parties that they do not bill? Independent of who provides the kit, there should be no back doors that can't be blocked by proper traffic management although the crap way the whole system has been built does mean that even American suppliers seem to have unmonitored access to everything anyway? And if all the content is properly encrypted no-one can read it anyway ... unless we get stung by back doors in the encryption process. So is China any more of a risk than any other country in the world?

  13. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    "...will result in multi-day mobile signal losses for some customers."

    Any reason why they can't work with the regulator and the other mobile network providers to allow automatic roaming to another uneffected network in the locality of an upgrade during the work? Perhaps give some nominal compensation for providing the fallback.

  14. Claverhouse Silver badge

    This will come in handy for Johnson to Renege on yet another Promise

    Some may remember the Tories promising --- in competition with equally ambitious Corbynite promises --- to have Gigabit Speeds in Every Pot in 5 years time...

    UK Government Appears to Soften 2025 Gigabit Broadband Goal

    ISPreview --- 09-07-2020


    Perhaps unsurprisingly, it now looks like the Government are watering down their language on that to “go as far as we possibly can by 2025.”

  15. SWCD

    Sex Change

    "Andrea Dona, head of networks at Vodafone UK.... She said Vodafone would...."

    Blimey, come on Register, Andrea Dona is a bloke.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT and Voda liars

    Check this:

    They want govt. handouts . Thats all.

  17. Si 1

    So they can’t install the new kit and get it running before switching the old kit off? Sounds like a load of excuses to avoid removing the Chinese spyware from their networks.

  18. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    The 5G bandwagon is losing it's Huaweils

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it involves Boris and/or Donald

    It's going to be bullshit.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: If it involves Boris and/or Donald

      The genuine Bovine stuff is actually quite useful stuff. As for these two...

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