U.K. Will Remove Huawei From Its 5G Network By 2027
In a major reversal, the United Kingdom announced its plans to ban the purchase of new Huawei equipment, effective at the end of the year, and to remove the giant Chinese telecom from its 5G network entirely by 2027 due to the security risk it poses. Last week, the UK government was reportedly rethinking its decision to use Huawei equipment in its 5G cellular infrastructure. The reconsideration comes after pressure from the US, which has banned the Chinese manufacturer over potential security risks. The British parliament is also concerned over Huawei’s dwindling supply chain, which is forcing it to use unvetted secondary components.
Back in January, the UK said that “high risk” vendors including Huawei would be allowed to build the country’s 5G network, provided they weren’t “core” parts of it. Clearly, the government has changed its mind. “5G will be transformative for our country, but only if we have confidence in the security and resilience of the infrastructure it is built upon,” Dowden added.
Huawei has called the decision “disappointing.” Edward Brewster, a spokesperson for Huawei UK, said: “It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide. Instead of ‘levelling up’ the government is levelling down and we urge them to reconsider.”
Statement regarding UK government decision
Ed Brewster, a spokesperson for Huawei UK, said: "This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone. It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide."1/4 pic.twitter.com/A0V7O1LQmr
— HuaweiUK (@HuaweiUK) July 14, 2020
Speculation about the U.K. government’s reversal on its stance over Huawei had spread recently, and the official statement comes soon after the United States government extended the ban on U.S. manufacturers from working with Huawei until 2021. Huawei remains on the “entity list” in the U.S., which in addition to other restrictions, prevents it from licensing Google’s full Android software suite. Instead, it has been working on its own ecosystem, including an alternative to the Google Play Store.
Huawei’s technology has been used in the UK’s networks for many years. And the UK’s mobile networks have warned that removing that equipment could take years and cost vast sums and create outages and security issues along the way.