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BT and Vodafone set to moan to PM about Huawei

The CEOs of BT, Philip Jansen, and Vodafone, Nick Read, are working on a letter they will sent to the UK Prime Minister, begging him not to ban Huawei.

We know this because they have leaked their plans to multiple UK media. The letter will say there is insufficient evidence that the use of Huawei kit represents a security risk to justify a ban on them using its kit in their networks. It will also stress what a nightmare it will be for them if they have to replace all their Huawei gear, as well as the down sides of reducing competition.

One reason for this mounting panic is the presumed absence of any compromise solution. The US has, to some extent, put its future relationship with the UK on the line over this decision. At the same time UK PM doesn’t want to seem like he just does whatever the Americans tell him and presumably doesn’t want to set back the roll-out of UK 5G.

Having said all that it comes as very little surprise that BT and Vodafone would be contemplating such a move, since they have made their feelings abundantly clear in the past. Even then the leaks hedge their position by saying they are just considering sending this redundant letter, but if it’s so important then surely the bigger news will be if they don’t. Perhaps they think having the two UK telecoms industry champions speaking with a common voice will have greater resonance, but they’re not sure. Let’s see.

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