Beijing (PingWest)- Huawei will be completely removed from the UK’s 5G network by the end of 2027, the government has announced, following a new report about Huawei’s role in the UK’s national infrastructure from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)
UK’s National Security Council, led by the UK prime minister Boris Johnson, decided on Tuesday to ban the purchase Huawei 5G components from 31 December 2020 and to order the removal of all existing Huawei gear from the 5G network by 2027.
Telecoms companies will also be told to stop using Huawei in fixed-line fibre broadband within the next two years.
Officials also want Huawei to be removed from high-speed, full-fibre connections following a two-year transition period, working with companies to find a way of eliminating the Chinese company’s equipment
The seven-year delay is a compromise with BT and Vodafone, which warned earlier that there could be phone outages if the government rush into banning Huawei.
In an interview with BBC radio, BT’s chief executive, Philip Jansen said on Monday it would be “impossible” to remove Huawei entirely from the country’s telecoms infrastructure in the next decade, and that it would take five to seven years to remove it from the 5G network. Jansen warned that forcing the removal of Huawei’s equipment too quickly could create outages and security risks.
The decision is a big change from the UK government’s previous position on Huawei. In January, UK allowed Huawei’s equipment to be used in the country’s 5G infrastructure, but Huawei’s market share would be limited to 35 percent.
However, in response to new US sanctions on Huawei in May, which can potentially cut Huawei off from the global semiconductor supply chain.
According to the announcement posted on UK government official website, technical experts at the NCSC reviewed the consequences of the sanctions and concluded the company will need to do a major reconfiguration of its supply chain as it will no longer have access to the technology on which it currently relies and there are no alternatives which we have sufficient confidence in, They found the new restrictions make it impossible to continue to guarantee the security of Huawei equipment in the future.
As a result, ministers today agreed that UK operators should stop the purchase of Huawei equipment affected by the sanctions.
The UK’s digital secretary Oliver Dowden warned that the decision “will delay our rollout of 5G.
Oliver Dowden also said “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.”
Huawei UK urged the government to reconsider. Ed Brewster, a spokesperson for the company, 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.”
Huawei said it employs about 1,600 people in the UK and claims to be one of Britain’s largest sources of investment from China.
In June, Huawei has just received green light from UK officials to build a USD1.2 billion research and development facility in the country.
The nine-acre facility in Cambridge will create around 400 new jobs and will focus on producing optical equipment used in fibre-optic communication systems.
The technology developed at the new center was separate from that targeted by the U.S. restrictions, according to Huawei Vice President Victor Zhang.