UK to ban Huawei from 5G network: timescale, cost and laws

In Summary

•The move was announced in parliament by culture minister Oliver Dowden.

•He said that the imposition of new sanctions by the United States significantly changed the assessment of Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, who could not guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Image: FILE

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday ordered Huawei equipment to be removed from Britain's 5G network by 2027, risking the ire of China by signalling that the world's biggest telecoms equipment maker is no longer welcome in the West.

The move was announced in parliament by culture minister Oliver Dowden, who said that the imposition of new sanctions by the United States significantly changed the assessment of Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, who could not guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment.

Below are details of what was announced:

 

WHAT THE UK HAS ANNOUNCED

- The purchase of new Huawei 5G equipment will be banned after December 31 2020.

- All Huawei equipment must be removed from 5G networks by end of 2027.

- Requirement will be set out in law in telecom security bill.

- Dowden said that, by the time of the next election in 2024, Britain would be on an "irreversible path" for complete removal of Huawei equipment.

 

 

HOW WILL IT AFFECT BRITAIN'S 5G

 

- Dowden said that the Tuesday's decision would result in a cumulative delay to 5g rollout of two to three years and cost of up to 2 billion pounds.

- He said that moving to a faster timescale than the 2027 target would add considerable and unnecessary costs and delays.

- The shorter the timetable, he said, the greater the risk of disruption to telecom networks.

 

OTHER NETWORKS

- Telecoms companies will also be told to stop using Huawei in fixed-line fibre broadband within the next two years.

- Will embark on short technical consultation with operators on the supply chain for full fibre equipment, which Dowden said would aim to avoid "unnecessary delays to our gigabit ambitions."

- Existing Huawei equipment in 2G, 3G and 4G networks, which has been security cleared, will not have to be removed.

 

TELECOM SECURITY BILL

- Tuesday's announcement substantially changes what is in the bill, Dowden said, adding it would be introduced in the autumn to give the security advice "secure statutory footing".

 

HUAWEI REACTION

- A spokesman described the decision as bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone, saying it would move Britain into the digital slow lane.

- The spokesman said Huawei was confident that the U.S. restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products it supplied to Britain.