Breaking News

UK Bans Huawei from 5G Telecom Network

UK Bans Huawei from 5G Telecom Network

The United Kingdom has banned Huawei from its 5G telecom network, reversing a January decision to allow the embattled Chinese tech company a limited role in building the country's super-fast wireless infrastructure.

Under the blueprint, British phone companies will not be able to add any new Huawei components to their 5G networks. After the end of the year, all existing equipment made by the Shenzhen-based company would need to be removed from 5G networks by 2027, the person said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his senior ministers and top security chiefs are due to be presented with the proposal at a meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday, with an announcement expected later in the House of Commons.

Operators such as BT (BTGOF) and Vodafone (VOD) have been given until 2027 to remove existing Huawei equipment from their 5G networks, the UK government announced on Tuesday. 

Digital and Culture Minister Oliver Dowden said new US sanctions imposed on the company in May had "significantly changed" the landscape.

"Given the uncertainty this creates around Huawei's supply chain, the UK can no longer be confident it will be able to guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment," Dowden said.

The decision is a big win for the Trump administration, which has been pushing allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks. In May the U.S. banned Huawei from sourcing microchips that use American technology, a move that forced British officials to reassess their view of the security and sustainability of using the company’s equipment in 5G networks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared last month that "the tide is turning against Huawei as citizens around the world are waking up to the danger of the Chinese Communist Party's surveillance state." But it risks a backlash from China as Britain looks for new trading opportunities around the world after Brexit and will delay the rollout of 5G across the country by at least a year.

Because the US sanctions only affect future equipment, the government has been advised there is no security justification for removing 2G, 3G and 4G equipment supplied by Huawei.

However, when swapping out the company's masts, networks are likely to switch to a different vendor to provide the earlier-generation services.

No comments