British PM approves Huawei role in 5G network

Huawei is the leading manufacturer of equipment for next-generation 5G mobile networks. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 April 2019

British PM approves Huawei role in 5G network

  • The National Security Council agreed to allow the Chinese technology giant limited access to build “noncore” infrastructure such as antennas
  • Huawei faces pushback in some Western markets over fears Beijing could spy on communications

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May has given the go-ahead for China’s Huawei to help build a 5G network, shrugging off security warnings from senior ministers and Washington, the Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.
The country’s National Security Council, which is chaired by May, agreed Tuesday to allow the Chinese technology giant limited access to build “noncore” infrastructure such as antennas, the report said.
The decision was made despite concerns raised over May’s approach by Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.
Downing Street declined to comment on the newspaper report.
The United States has banned Huawei’s 5G technology from its territory and has urged allies in the so-called Five Eyes intelligence sharing collective — which also includes Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand — to follow suit.
Huawei is the leading manufacturer of equipment for next-generation 5G mobile networks with almost instantaneous data transfer that will become the nervous system of Europe’s economy, in strategic sectors like energy, transport, banking and health care.
However, the technology titan faces pushback in some Western markets over fears Beijing could spy on communications and gain access to critical infrastructure.
Last month, Britain identified “significant technological issues” in Huawei’s engineering processes that pose “new risks” for the nation’s telecommunications, according to a government report.


British Airways burning through cash, CEO urges unions to engage

Updated 54 min 14 sec ago

British Airways burning through cash, CEO urges unions to engage

  • Job losses necessary as cash reserves of IAG, British Airways’ parent company, would not last forever

LONDON: The boss of British Airways said its parent company IAG was burning through $223 million a week and could not guarantee its survival, prompting him to urge unions to engage over 12,000 job cuts.
British Airways came under heavy attack from lawmakers in parliament on Wednesday, who accused it of taking advantage of a government scheme to protect jobs while at the same time announcing plans to cut its workforce by 28 percent.
Planes were grounded in March due to coronavirus restrictions, forcing many airlines to cut thousands of staff as they struggle without revenues. Airlines serving Britain now face an additional threat from a 14-day quarantine rule.
In an internal letter to staff seen by Reuters, Alex Cruz, the chief executive of British Airways said the job losses were necessary as IAG’s cash reserves would not last forever and the future was one of more competition for fewer customers.
BA also wants to change terms and conditions for its remaining workers to give it more flexibility by, for example, making all crew fly both short and long-haul.
Cruz said IAG, which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, was getting through $223 million a week, meaning that it could not just sit out the crisis. The group had €10 billion of liquidity at the end of April.
“BA does not have an absolute right to exist. There are major competitors poised and ready to take our business,” Cruz said in the letter.
He urged two unions which represent cabin crew and other staff, GMB and Unite, to join in discussions to mitigate proposed redundancies. Pilots union BALPA is “working constructively” with the airline, he added.
Cruz also joined other airline bosses in criticizing Britain’s quarantine rule, due to come into effect on June 8, calling it “another blow to our industry.”