seven years to remove its existing technology from their 5G infrastructure he UK government has announced that Huawei’s networking equipment is to be phased out of the UK’s 5G networks. Telecoms operators will not be allowed to buy new 5G telecoms equipment from the Chinese firm from January next year, and they will have at an expected cost of £2 billion.
UK Bans Huawei
The announcement follows a new report about Huawei’s role in the UK’s national infrastructure from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre. It follows sanctions imposed by Washington, which claims the firm poses a national security threat – something Huawei denies.
The technology promises faster internet speeds and the capacity to support more wireless devices, which should be a boon to everything from mobile gaming to higher-quality video streams, and even in time driverless cars that talk to each other. 5G connections are already available in dozens of UK cities and towns, but coverage can be sparse. It could cause a total delay to 5G rollout of two to three years.
Apart from cybersecurity threats, other political considerations are also likely to have also come into play, including the UK’s desire to strike a trade deal with the US, and growing tensions with China over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and its treatment of Hong Kong.
The decision marks a U-turn from the government’s previous position, which allowed Huawei’s equipment to be used in the country’s 5G infrastructure, with certain limitations. Under that position, Huawei would be limited to a 35% market share, and its equipment couldn’t be used in core parts of the network or geographically sensitive locations. Now, however, its equipment will be completely removed from the country’s 5G networks.