BT Warns UK that Banning Huawei Could Lead to Outages

July 14, 2020 0:16 pm

Beijing (PingWest)- British telecom operator BT’s CEO Philip Jansen on Monday warned that it would be “impossible” to remove all the equipment made by Huawei in UK’s telecom networks in less than a decade, otherwise there could be outages and even security issues.

“If we get to a situation where things need to go very, very fast, then you are into a situation where potentially service for 24 million BT Group mobile customers is put into question - outages,” Philip Jansen told BBC radio.

Ask what the risks would be if the Britain telecoms opeartors were told to ban Huawei in less than five years, Jansen said “we need to make sure that any change of direction does not lead to more risk in the short term.”

BT and Vodafone have the most Huawei equipment in their UK networks.

BT warning come at the time when the U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to set to ban the use of Huawei equipment in Britain’s 5G mobile phone networks.

Britain’s National Security Council will meet on Tuesday to discuss an official UK report about the risk of using Huawei equipment in British telecoms infrastructure.

British telecoms firms already had to cap Huawei’s role in 5G at 35% by 2023. In January, Boris Johnson said Huawei could have a limited role as a supplier 5G equipment for UK networks, but Johnson has faced pressures from the United States to reverse his January decision to grant Huawei a limited role in 5G.

The prime minister will reportedly to propose a ban on the use of 5G equipment from Huawei that would take effect within months, but UK telecoms companies fear the announcement could means that force them to abandon 5G equipment made by Huawei, instead installing in older infrastructure, including 4G and 3G mobile networks.

According to Financial times, Johnson has been urged by UK telecoms companies to delay the introduction of ban on Huawei’s 5G kit until the end of 2020, when the U.S sanctions could be eased because of the U.S presidential elections in November.

In May,2020, the trump administration issued a new rule that will ban Huawei and its suppliers from using American technology and software, the New York Times reported.

The new regulation could potentially cut Huawei off from the global semiconductor supply chain. Affected Huawei suppliers include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract chipmaker which produces high-end chip designs for Huawei, Taiwan’s Win Semiconductors and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics.