Huawei mobile phone equipment being installed in Clive Place, Penarth in February 2015

It’s emerged that much of the newest mobile telephone transmitter equipment installed in the Penarth area has been made by the controversial Chinese multinational electronics firm Huawei – which is now regarded as being a security threat.

The Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson says “I have grave, very deep concerns about Huawei providing the 5G network in Britain. It’s something we’d have to look at very closely.We’ve got to recognise the fact, that the Chinese state does sometimes act in a malign way.

Old and new masts up side by side in Clive Place in February 2015  The older (shorter) mast  was taken down but brand new Huawei electroncs were installed at the roadside for the new mast.

Huawei electronics were specified for the controversial mast installed in 2015 in Clive Place, for Vodafone and Telefonica within the Penarth Conservation Area.

The mast – transparently “disguised” as a telegraph pole – is the highest phone mast in Penarth.

The new Vodafone mast and equipment installed at in Railway Terrace in Auguist 2017 was made by Huawei in China

The Huawei-powered 17.5 metre mast at Railway Terrace

In 2017 new Huawei mobile phone transmission and receiving equipment was installed for Vodafone and Telefonica in Railway Terrace Penarth along with a new 17.5-metre-high mast with 6 directional antennae – although this was subsequently modified to a single 360 degree antenna.

Already Australia, New Zealand and the USA have restricted the use of Huawei technology in their 5G mobile networks – not because it isn’t reliable but because Chinese hackers are claimed to be penetrating the mobile networks to extract data – including commercial secrets.

Huawei was founded by a former officer in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The firm claims that it  has “never been asked by any government to build any backdoors or interrupt any networks” [ a phrase which amounts to a lot less than an actual denial] and insists that it does not have any ties to the Chinese Communist Government.

That said, however – BT (the former British Telecom) is busy opening up its 3G and 4G technical cabinets, removing and junking the Huawei-made equipment installed inside.

BT has also made a public pledge not to use Huawei products in the core of its 5G service.

Huawei equipment is also now being ripped out of the UK’s Emergency Services Network (ESN). This is the new UK-wide communication system currently under construction  for the UK police, ambulance and fire services and had been due to come on stream next year.

Just before Christmas 2 Chinese men were arrested  and accused of hacking into computer networks of Western companies and government agencies.

The grey Huawei electronics cabinet controls the massive Railway Terrace mast.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has described the actions of these men as “one of the most significant and widespread cyber intrusions against the UK and allies uncovered to date”.

The UK Foreign Office says thje Chinese hackers were working for the Chinese Ministry of State Security and were  stealing commercial secrets from firms in Europe, Asia and the United States. China has hit back – accusing Britain of “deep-rooted pride and prejudice”

The former Robert Smith Garage mobile phone base is a Hutchison 3G site which  does not appear to use Huawei components

The Vodafone mast in the St Cyres area may also have Huawei equipment although it’s an earlier installation than the Clive Place and Railway Terrace installations.  There is also a major mobile phone antenna complex on the roof of the Waverley care home Plymouth Road – the origin of which is not known.

One known exception to Huawei equipment in Penarth is the recently renewed mobile phone system at the former Robert Smith Garage in Windsor Road which was installed for the Hong Kong company Hutchinson 3G . This does not appear to have any Huawei equipment in it.


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Penarth Daily News email address Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. Personally I’d sooner have China spying on me than the likes of Google and facebook. However it’s not good for the country that Chinese telecommunication equipment is being installed. It should be have been banned long ago.

  2. Philip Rapier says:

    Happy New Year to each and everyone of your readers PDN. Long may your journal prosper in 2019 and beyond. You’re commitment to our community and free speech is of great value to us all.

    However do I detect a little scaremongering here. Your mysterious anonymous contributors have little to fear from the Chinese Government disclosing their identity or debating their comments in the Glorious Peoples Revolutionary Commie Clowns Forum as a result of tuning in to the Railway Terrace Mast. Nevertheless were I the owner of one of their Huawei handsets and in a sensitive occupation I would be inclined to have it checked someone with at least a Telecomms-Physics degree.

    You should also be cautious if the Mast is on your property

    .M’learned friends tell me that new Westminster legislation means the Phone Company can get away with only paying a fiver a year site rent and then when it becomes obsolete you may get the bill for removal.

    Westminster Gov Policy is below -as reported in CNBC Markets Website 5 Dec 18 by Chloe Taylor.

    “Chinese tech giant Huawei will be excluded from providing technology for the core 5G network being developed by U.K. telecoms firm BT.

    The firm’s equipment will also be removed from BT’s existing 3G and 4G networks. While Huawei will not be selected as a vendor for the core 5G network, it will still be eligible to provide some infrastructure support – such as phone mast antennas.

    BT acquired telecoms firm EE in 2016 and will use its existing network to launch a national 5G rollout. 5G will provide superfast mobile internet access and is widely expected to revolutionize technologies such as self-driving cars and the internet of things.

    In an email sent to CNBC, a BT spokesperson confirmed the process to remove Huawei equipment from the core of its 3G and 4G networks began in 2016. They said this was done as a “part of network architecture principles in place since 2006.”

    “We’re applying these same principles to our current RFP (Request for Proposal) for 5G core infrastructure,” the spokesperson explained. “As a result, Huawei have not been included in vendor selection for our 5G core. Huawei remains an important equipment provider outside the core network, and a valued innovation partner.”

    EE is currently trialing 5G mobile internet in London’s Canary Wharf.2
    CNBC Markets Website 5 Dec 18 by Chloe Taylor.

  3. Doomed says:

    Is this the same Chinese who are partners in building our latest nuclear power station just across the Bristol Channel?

    ‘Made in China’ does not scream quality and longevity.

  4. whatsoccurin says:

    Happy new Year PDN-great items through the year-this one seems to be a re-hash of the “reds under the beds” fear back in the 60’s-the Christmas Sky TV show “The Queen and I” satirised a Corbyn style Government abolishing the Monarchy and predictably ruining the Country-our friends, the Chinese agreed to bail us out on condition he restored the Monarchy-it may be that fact is funnier than fiction.!

  5. Penileaks says:

    With all the spies living in Penarth, is it any wonder that the Chinese are targeting the town ?
    I’m sure that those sitting in Beijing listening in to all the nattering going on in and out of Penarth will be highly interested in the subject matters – Who ate what last night, what a hangover they have from the binge drinking. who chatted up and slept with who, blah, blah, blah. Highly interesting and sensitive stuff I guess.
    As Mr Coffee commented, we should be more worried about the ‘spying’ that Google, Facebook and other social media forums carry out 24/7 on those that choose to live their lives through them and the surveillance carried out by our and the US government departments should be just as worrying as anything China is carrying out.

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