• Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne

Spineless Tories set to cripple the country



Despite years of speculation, arrests, headlines and bluster the Johnson's government has taken the step today to ban the use of Huawei equipment in any network in the UK from 2027.

Although they may hide behind the National Security Council ruling, this is entirely a political decision with the FT reporting that added sanctions to the Chinese company in May acted as a catalyst for punishment in the British Isles.

The justification for those added sanctions is just an accusation, it is immeterial and might end up being ficticious. We have fallen for what may well be a lie and cut off any hope of real progress in the rollout, study and, ultimately, usage of 5G. Puring salt on the wounds is the fact that this self-chastisement will play out in the decade that will define the success of Britain's decision to leave the EU.

As a region, without free trade and initiatives that come from the EU, Britain will have to make itself appealing to new investment in more ways than just a taxation system that mirror's Monaco. 5G can do that, providing an office building access to the internet without a need for a physical line and provide industry a way to control robotics, see instant analytic data and act on the present information in real time.

Aside from the politics of Brexit, it's clear that there has been a choice made. Chinese or American, who are we hedging our bets with? If this move is to appease the president of the United States, I'd point out that making someone happy just before he could potentially get booted out is not a great plan but this "special arrangement" that is dangled in front of us might be the true motivation for this move.

To be worth the sacrifice that arrangement's value needs to be in the hundreds of billions as networks continue to grapple with high renters fees, auction costs that top out at over £1 billion and the ever increasing undercutting of tarrifs and attempt to recoup some of the revenues lost to the free EU roaming legislation.

To me it is infuriating. The arrangement that limited Huawei's involvement in UK networks to 35 per cent struck me as sensible. Keep them at arms length until sufficient evidence is found that Huawei is a criminal company.

Now networks will have to find more revenues which will almost certainly translate into higher prices for consumers and maybe, for a company like Vodafone who has to manage businesses in several countries, pulling out of the UK all together.

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