Tomorrow the UK will decide if it will allow the Chinese tech company Huawei to be part of the development of the 5g network in their country. It is a decision that could be a game changer for privacy and safety not only in the UK but worldwide.
There is an old saying where there is smoke there is fire. Or if you are more traditional or since we are discussing the U.K. let’s go with with Shakespeare’s Hamlet and “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”
5G stands to change everything we know about communications. It is a revolution in and of itself and will generate more terabytes of data than man kind dared imagine even a decade ago. Yes the internet will be faster and with that the amount of data the core switches that make up telecommunication and internet providers networks will see passing through their gates has yet to begin.
The storage, profiling and uses of this data are literally mind blowing. Data packets. Your data packets will be there for the taking. Which brings to the forefront concerns over U.K. cellular operators including switches by a suspect Chinese owned supplier Huawei to a top of mind issue.
For a great summary of how game changing 5g will be Ed Conway has a brilliant summary in twitter of it’s possibilities and risks.
I am not a U.K. Citizen but if Zuckerberg’s testimony in front of the befuddled tech ignorant ancient heads of my government is any indication of how “tech aware” U.K Ministers are we’re all doomed. Literally they would be going against recommendations from their own intelligence agencies. For what to seem impartial, save a few quid, and compromise security, privacy, and the free world? If you are a cynic bet the under.
I am well aware of protectionism, racism, and a myriad of other concerns when it comes to foreign companies competing with domestic ones. Yet personally I am dubious. With a history of Intellectual Property thefts that go as far back as the fabled ones on a trade show floor of IBM’s gear to last year’s WSJ article covered “the litany of accusations against Huawei, including alleged thefts from Cisco, T-Mobile and Motorola.”
Other giants such as Nokia, Ericsson, and Cisco along with others stand to benefit from the decision. Veriozn, AT&T, Orange, BT all have a stake in 5g. Each one with a vested interest in the outcome beyond freedom and privacy, and 5g telecommunications regulatory matters. Yes billions of dollars of equipment sales and hundreds of billions of services, storage, and transport are at play over the life time of 5G Technology. In a very real way the foundation of how Brits communicate is the matter at hand, but have no doubt it will affect us all.
Tomorrow we will know if we are truly living in a mad mad world. Or if for once government acted in the best interest of its citizenry.
Author’s statement: In the interest of transparency I am disclosing that I have met with representative of every company that has been named in this article in the course of my career. None were specifically regarding 5g core telecommunication solutions. At the time of publication I have no official relationship with any of them