HUAWEI will be completely removed from the UK’s 5G networks by the end of 2027, the government has announced, following new advice produced by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on the impact of US sanctions against the telecommunications vendor.
This according to a press release by the Department for Digital, Media & Sport, National Cyber Security Centre and Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden on Tuesday, 14 July 2020. Dowden also stated these while speaking at the Parliament on Tuesday.
The government has also placed a ban on buying of new Huawei 5G equipment after 31 December 2020.
UK ousting of Huawei from its 5G network follows similar action from the U.S. United States had blacklisted Huawei, saying that the company pose a national security threat. The U.S in May imposed sanctions on the company, which will create uncertainty in the tech giant’s supply chain.
According to Dowden, “the UK can no longer be confident it will be able to guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment affected by the change in the US foreign direct product rules.”
“Following US sanctions against Huawei and updated technical advice from our cyber experts, the government has decided it is necessary to ban Huawei from our 5G networks,” said UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said.
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“No new kit is to be added from January 2021, and UK 5G networks will be Huawei free by the end of 2027. This decisive move provides the industry with the clarity and certainty it needs to get on with delivering 5G across the UK.
“By the time of the next election we will have implemented in law an irreversible path for the complete removal of Huawei equipment from our 5G networks.
“This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right onefor the UK telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now indeed in the long run
“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.”
While responding to the move, Huawei said it is “bad news news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone”. The company threatened to “move Britain into digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide.”
In January, as UK concluded its Telecom Security Review, the government concluded ‘high risk’ vendors should be excluded from the core and most sensitive parts of the UK’s 5G network, restricted to up to a 35 per cent market share in the access network, which connects devices and equipment to mobile phone masts, by 2023.