In the UK Supply Chain Review, Huawei is battered and bruised entering the fifth round, but the UK Government still isn’t telling us whether Huawei is going down in the fifth or not.
Speaking to BBC Radio Four this morning, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nicky Morgan said a decision could be made in the autumn, painting a picture with about as much colour as a 1930s TV set.
“I would hope that we could do something by the autumn, but we want to make the right decision and we’ve got to make sure that this is going to be a decision for the long term, making sure we keep all our networks secure,” Morgan said.
In short, Morgan is pretty much in the same position as her predecessor Jeremy Wright; the only thing to report is a further stall to a decision.
It is becoming a bit tedious to constantly be discussing delaying tactics and indecision from the UK Government, but you also have to feel for the telcos. These are companies which are being asked to spend billions on network infrastructure to lead the UK into the digital economy and a secure future, but they are not being helped by the Government.
It is of course important to get this decision right, but sooner or later someone will have to make one. Like everyone else involved with the Huawei saga, Morgan is kicking the can down the road, seemingly hoping someone else will step in and decide, shielding the politician from the court of public opinion. That said, Huawei still remains chipper.
“We welcome the Secretary of State Nicky Morgan’s commitment to the development of world-class digital infrastructure that will help the UK continue to ‘compete and grow in the global economy’,” a Huawei spokesperson said.
“Over the last 18 years, we have helped build the UK’s broadband, 3G and 4G networks and, as independent analysts agree, Huawei can help British operators develop 5G networks that are more secure, more affordable and completed more quickly – helping to keep bills down for consumers and connect rural areas.
“Huawei continues to work with network operators to rollout 5G across Britain and many other countries globally to help improve their economies and we look forward to the UK Government’s decision in the autumn on our future involvement here.”
There are of course numerous distractions for politicians. Brexit is still grabbing headlines, everyone wants to keep BoJo, the new boss, happy, Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn is causing chaos once again and egos need to be stroked on the other side of the Atlantic to ensure a profitable relationship can continue.
The status quo is one of indecision and it is not working. The UK has created a leadership position heading towards the glory lands of the 5G era, but this can only be maintained if work is allowed to progress. And for work to progress, the UK telcos need a firm and absolute decision.
Zed’s dead, but we still don’t know about Huawei.