The Channel Islands to follow UK in move to exclude Huawei as 5G supplier

The decision was taken amid security concerns around the Chinese firm. Credit: Jaap Arriens/SIPA USA/PA Images

The Channel Islands are expected to follow the UK and exclude the telecoms giant Huawei as a supplier for their 5G networks.

The decision was taken by the UK Government amid security concerns around the Chinese firm.

The States of Guernsey say a decision over the use of Huawei to implement its 5G infrastructure will not slow planned improvements to the island's digital network.

We’re confident that the national security steps being taken with regard to Huawei will not affect how quickly we introduce improved connectivity. That must remain a priority, particularly at this time as we look to build back and grow our economy, following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Charles Parkinson, Guernsey's President of the Committee for Economic Development

The States say it has had regular contact with the UK NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) and the decision to exclude Huawei is one that had been anticipated.

Our close, constitutional relationship with the UK means it’s important we are aligned on national security matters and I’d like to thank the NCSC for its work in keeping us informed in the run up to this decision. It means we’re in a position to respond swiftly to mirror these steps, and ensure our local operators can do the same.

Deputy Mary Lowe, Guernsey's President of the Committee for Home Affairs

In January, England's prime minister controversially allowed the Chinese tech firm to be involved with the UK's 5G network, which is in development.

There were huge security concerns over Huawei's links to the Chinese state, with critics claiming the firm's involvement in UK infrastructure would compromise Britain's ability to protect its own data.

Jersey Telecoms says it has already taken the decision to move away from using ZTE (another Chinese firm) which is the company's current mobile network equipment provider and have no Huawei technology currently.  

Whilst it’s clearly up to the Government and regulators across the Bailiwick to make a decision on any timing and how closely they wish to be aligned with the UK on these matters, we see no issue with meeting the UK’s proposed schedule.

JT Spokesperson