UK ban 5G Huawei equipment installation from September 2021

The UK government has announced that no more 5G equipment can be installed in the country from september 2021 as part of efforts to diversify suppliers.

A bill set to be presented to the UK parliament will look to enshrine in law a on the installation of Huawei 5G equipment from September 2021. According to Bloomberg, the measure would be among a £250m plan to create a more diverse supply chain of key telecoms infrastructure in the country.

The move would accelerate a promise made in July that mobile operators in the UK will be banned from buying Huawei’s 5G equipment from 31 December this year and that any of the company’s technology deployed so far must be removed by 2027. From April 2021, apart from exceptional circumstances, carriers will be banned from outsourcing service management to Huawei.

Last May, the UK designated Huawei a national security threat, banning US telecoms firms from spending government money on Huawei equipment. In response, UK telecoms operators warned that the decision could have a severe effect on national infrastructure.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 in July, BT CEO Philip Jansen said: “Over the next five years, we’d expect 15 to 20 big software upgrades.

“If you don’t have those you’re running gaps in critical software that could have security implications far bigger than anything we’re talking about in terms of managing a 35pc cap in the access network of a mobile operator.”

‘This is a global issue’

The passing of this latest bill would mean UK operators would be reliant on just Nokia Oyj and Ericsson to build their telecoms infrastructure. Aiming not to be left with a duopoly, the UK government said it will create a national telecoms lab to research greater network security and more compatibility with the vendors.

It will also look to fund trials with other network infrastructure providers, such as the Japanese company NEC, and phase out older 2G and 3G technology.

Announcing the country’s new 5G supply chain diversification strategy, the minister for digital, culture, media and sport, Oliver Dowden, said: “We are taking bold steps to implement one of the toughest telecoms security regimes in the world.

“This is a global issue, and this plan also sets out how we will lead a global coalition to find a lasting and sustainable solution to the problem. We are working closely with Five Eyes partners and other friends around the world to deliver that shared goal.”

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