UK changes position and plans to ban China’s Huawei from 5G networks

The U.K. has announced a decision to ban Huawei from its 5G networks where mobile network operators will be forced to halt equipment purchases from Huawei by the end of 2020 and required to remove all Huawei equipment from their network infrastructure by 2027. 

This is a significant shift from the government’s previous position in January which restricted Huawei’s access to core parts of 5G networks and allowed deployment of Huawei gear to 35% in non-core parts of mobile networks. New U.S. sanctions on Huawei in May made this decision difficult to implement as Huawei would no longer have access to key chip equipment from trusted American vendors. This triggered an emergency review of Huawei by the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center. 

This decision is expected to delay the rollout of 5G in the U.K. by up to three years and cost up to £2 billion ($2.5 billion). Huawei has appealed to the government to reconsider and gave assurance that the U.S. restrictions would not impact the resilience or security of its products.