This afternoon Boris Johnson finally approved the use of equipment made by Huawei in building parts of Britain’s 5G network. The decision is a long time coming, having initially been kicked into the long grass by Theresa May last year, but it is also important. The decision will have profound strategic implications for the UK for years to come.
Why such a big deal? 5G is the next generation of mobile phone technology. It is faster and more reliable than the 4G most of us are still using. And crucially, the technology isn’t just about improving our phones, as 5G chips will connect pretty much everything, from driverless cars, to electricity grids, to the emergency services. It’s conceivable that in the not too distant future, we won’t have to lay underground cables to connect to the internet, as 5G will be as fast and reliable as any wired connection.