Chinese telecommunication company, Huawei, has said that disrupting its involvement in the rollout of the 5G network “will do Britain a disservice”.
In January, the UK government approved a limited role for Huawei in building the country’s new data network. But in March, a backbench rebellion within the Conservative party signalled efforts to overturn the move.
In an open letter, the firm also said it was focused on keeping the UK connected during the coronavirus crisis.
But the pandemic may increase pressure on the government to take a tougher line on the company.
In the letter, Victor Zhang, Huawei’s UK chief, said that home data use has increased by at least 50% since the virus first hit the UK, placing “significant pressure” on telecoms systems.
Huawei says that it has been working with partners like BT, Vodafone and EE to deal with the growth and has also set up three new warehouses around the country to ensure that spare parts stay in supply.
Zhang also says that the current crisis has highlighted how many people, especially in rural communities, are “stuck in a digital slow lane”.
He warns that excluding Huawei from any further role in 5G would be a mistake.