UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave some sort of hope to Huawei when he gave the green light to Huawei to help build the country’s next-generation 5G networks in a limited capacity. According to a new report from Bloomberg, however, the UK is set to begin phasing out Huawei equipment from its 5G networks as soon as this year.
A report prepared by the National Cybersecurity Centre, which is set to be presented to Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week, has concluded that Huawei will be forced to use untrusted technology due to the new U.S. sanctions. The latest sanctions, which were announced in May, bar Huawei from using technology that relies on American intellectual property.
Officials in the UK are now reportedly drafting proposals to bar Huawei equipment in the country’s 5G networks and have the existing Huawei tech removed by the end of the year. As of now, however, an exact timeframe hasn’t been finalized. No date has been set for a cross-government discussion at the National Security Council either.
If the UK does ban Huawei completely and ask networks to replace existing equipment, which is likely to happen, it could delay the planned upgrade of the nation’s telecom networks to “gigabit speeds,” which is currently expected to be completed by 2025. It would also significantly increase costs for the country’s telecom networks.
Huawei has called this a move that will cause Britain to move into “into the digital slow lane.”
Statement regarding UK government decision
Ed Brewster, a spokesperson for Huawei UK, 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.”1/4 pic.twitter.com/A0V7O1LQmr
— HuaweiUK (@HuaweiUK) July 14, 2020