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UK to ban Huawei equipment in 2021 and remove it from 5G networks by 2027

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In a nutshell: Huawei continues to feel the hurt as the UK vows to remove all of the Chinese manufacturer’s components from its mobile infrastructure by 2027. It also plans to outlaw future purchases of the company’s products beginning in January 2021.

Last week, the UK government was reportedly rethinking its decision to use Huawei equipment in its 5G cellular infrastructure. The reconsideration comes after pressure from the US, which has banned the Chinese manufacturer over potential security risks. The British parliament is also concerned over Huawei’s dwindling supply chain, which is forcing it to use unvetted secondary components.

Today, the UK decided it would move forward with a plan that would eliminate Huawei gear from its 5G network by December 31, 2027. A Telecoms Security Bill is expected to pass through parliament and go into effect at the end of this year. The law would ban providers from purchasing Huawei-made 5G equipment.

“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,” said British Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden.

The final push for the ban came from advice from the UK’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), which said that the US sanctions imposed by the US in May would cripple Huawei’s ability to procure trusted manufacturing components. The decision expands the country’s stance earlier this year that banned “high risk” OEM components from core parts of its 5G infrastructure. It still allowed their use in scenarios that required less security precautions.

Huawei expressed disappointment in the decision in a statement saying that the UK has decided to “level down” it’s 5G network.

“This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone,” the spokesperson said. “It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills, and deepen the digital divide. Instead of ‘levelling up’ the government is levelling down, and we urge them to reconsider.”

The company went on to say that this move is more about US trade policy than 5G security. It said it would review the UK’s decision in detail and work with lawmakers “to explain how we can continue to contribute to a better connected Britain.”

Image credit: 5G Huawei by Daniel Constante, Huawei Lock by Ink Drop



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