The United Kingdom has approached the United States to form a club of 10 countries that could together develop their own 5G technology and reduce dependence on Chinese equipment maker Huawei, The Times reported on Friday.
The proposal comes before a G7 summit that US President Donald Trump hopes to host next month.
Despite several US warnings, the British government has allowed Huawei to build up to 35% of the infrastructure needed to deploy the country's new network.
As relations with China deteriorate, the United Kingdom is proposing the formation of a club of ten democracies including members of the G7, Australia, South Korea and India, reports The Times.
According to the newspaper, one of the options involves centralizing investment in existing telecommunications companies in the 10 member states.
The Finnish companies Nokia and Swedish Ericsson are the only alternative options currently available in Europe to provide 5G equipment such as relay antennas.
"We need new market entrants," a British government source told The Times. "That's why we had to accept Huawei at the time."
The move sparked Washington's anger that Chinese society poses risks to espionage.
According to The Telegraph, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to completely cut Huawei from this network by 2023.
But removing Huawei from the network could blur London's ties to Beijing completely, as Boris Johnson searches for new business partners after the UK leaves the European Union.
In January, Johnson challenged American critics to find an alternative to Huawei if they did not want the UK to call on the Chinese company.
© 2020 AFP