The UK’s mobile providers are being banned from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after 31 December, and that they must also remove all the Chinese firm’s 5G kit from their networks by 2027.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden told the House of Commons of the choice. It follows sanctions imposed by Washington, which claims the firm poses a national security threat – something Huawei denies.
Mr. Dowden said the move would delay the country’s 5G rollout by a year.
He added that the cumulative cost of this, and earlier restrictions announced against Huawei earlier within the year, would be up to £2bn.
“This has not been a simple decision, but it’s the proper one for the united kingdom telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed within the end of the day,” he said.
Because the US sanctions only affect future equipment, the govt doesn’t believe there’s a security justification for removing 2G, 3G, and 4G equipment supplied by Huawei.
Huawei said the move was: “bad news for anyone within the UK with a mobile phone” and threatened to “move Britain into the digital traffic lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide”.
New restrictions also are being applied to the use of the company’s broadband kit.
The government wants operators to “transition away” from purchasing new Huawei equipment to be used within the full-fiber network.
Mr. Dowden said he expected this to happen within two years.
He explained that overtime was being provided for broadband to avoid the united kingdom becoming hooked into Nokia because of the single supplier of some equipment.
The UK last reviewed Huawei’s role in its telecoms infrastructure in January, when it had been decided to let the firm remain a supplier but introduced a cap on its market share.
But in May the US introduced new sanctions designed to disrupt Huawei’s ability to urge its own chips manufactured.
This led security officials to conclude they might not assure the safety of its products if the corporate had to start outsourcing chips from third-parties to be used in its equipment.
The minister cited a review administered by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre as being the motivation for the changes.
“Huawei claims to possess stockpiles of parts that they will use, but this obviously affects what the NCSC can say about their products going forward,” blogged Dr. Ian Levy, the agency’s technical director.
“We think that Huawei products that are adapted to deal with the [sanctions] are likely to suffer more security and reliability problems due to the huge engineering challenge before them, and it’ll be harder for us to be confident in their use within our mitigation strategy.”
But other political considerations also are likely to possess also inherit play including the UK’s desire to strike a trade affect the US, and growing tensions with China over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and its treatment of Hong Kong.
Some backbench Tory MPs had pressed for a shorter time-span for its removal, especially there had been involving the 5G ban to return into effect before the subsequent election in May 2024.
However, Mr. Dowden said that “the shorter we make the timetable for removal, the greater the danger of actual disruption to mobile networks”.
BT and Vodafone had warned that customers could face mobile blackouts if they were forced to get rid of all of Huawei’s 5G kit in less time.
Huawei says it employs about 1,600 people within the UK and claims to be one of Britain’s largest sources of investment from China.
The firm – whose shares aren’t publicly traded – doesn’t provide a regional breakdown of its earnings. But on Monday, it announced a 13% rise in sales for the primary half 2020 compared to an equivalent period in 2019, totaling 454bn yuan ($64.8bn; £51.3bn).
The UK will have accounted for a fraction of that. The firm’s UK chief recently noted that Huawei had only deployed a complete of 20,000 base stations within the UK thus far, but against this expects to deliver a complete of 500,000 globally this year.
Even so, what the firm fears and Washington hopes is that other countries will now follow Westminster’s lead with bans of their own.
Despite there seems little chance of a U-turn, Huawei said it had been still urging UK ministers to reconsider.
“We will conduct an in-depth review of what today’s announcement means for our business here and can work with the united kingdom government to elucidate how we will still contribute to a far better connected Britain,” spokesman Ed Brewster said.
Shortly before the announcement, Sky News revealed that Lord Browne, Huawei’s UK chairman and therefore the ex-chief executive of BP, would be leaving the Chinese company before his term had expired. It said he had given his notice a couple of days ago and would formally step down.
Source: bbc news