Huawei to exit UK 5G network by 2027

Huawei to Exit the UK 5G Network by the end of 2027


The Chinese tech giant, Huawei is due to be axed from the UK 5G Network entirely by the end of 2027. The decision was heavily influenced by the sanction imposed on Huawei by the US government in 2019 due to the rising spying concerns.

The United States Federal Communications Commission announced that it considers Huawei a national security threat compelling US-based carrier networks to terminate all collaborations and ban the use of Huawei equipment within the telecommunication industry.

The United Kingdom soon reacted, as operators were prohibited from purchasing any Huawei 5G kits, post 31st December 2020. The decision was finalized in a National Security Council (NSC) meeting, moderated by the then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. The UK government now blacklists Huawei and acknowledges it as a high-risk telecommunication vendor.

The Meaning of the Huawei Sanction

Huawei is recognised as a leader within the global tech domain. The US government is concerned that Huawei can misuse its command over the world’s telecommunication networks and share unauthorized data with the Chinese government.

According to the NCSC technical experts, the sanction imposed on Huawei forces the company to make major changes to its supply chain model. Due to its inability to access US-made semiconductor equipment, Huawei must adopt and formulate a new supply chain system.

Without the presence of the required technology, the NCSC technical experts believe that the security assurance offered by Huawei equipment has been significantly compromised. This aspect serves as the primary contributor to the exclusion of Huawei from the UK 5G network

Consequently, Mobile Operators around the UK were instructed not to purchase Huawei equipment post the implementation of the sanction. The UK government now aims to remove all Huawei equipment from its 5G network by the end of 2027. This decision is administered keeping in mind the national interest of the UK and how it may impact the general audience.

The Impact of the Sanction on the UK’s Fiber Broadband Network

The US sanction decision also impacts the UK’s fiber broadband network as Huawei equipment is in place. The UK has been banking on Huawei equipment since 2005 for implementing seamless fixed access networks. The government acknowledges that the reliance of broadband operators on a single equipment supplier hinders in attaining flexibility and operational independence.

Therefore, broadband operators are also requested to not purchase new Huawei equipment and deviate away from the supplier. Broadband operators need to upgrade their strategies by seeking technical consultation as the government expects the transition to be completed within two years.

This methodology will help the UK fiber broadband network to maintain equilibrium, ensuring to cater to the needs of the general audience while acknowledging the safety concerns highlighted by the government.

The Opinion of National Leaders

The current Deputy Prime Minister and former Digital Secretary, Oliver Dowden addressed this issue by claiming that the introduction of the 5G network will transform the UK telecommunication landscape. However, this goal can only be achieved if the government holds complete confidence in its technology and infrastructure.

However, the US sanction on Huawei has revoked the UK government’s confidence in the Chinese telecommunication vendor. Therefore, no new Huawei kits will be incorporated in the UK, banning the use of Huawei equipment from the UK’s 5G network.

Moving Ahead

The decision to ban Huawei equipment has cost the UK government close to £500 million. Other European countries such as Germany are also considering a restriction on using equipment designed by Chinese vendors.

The UK government now tries to work with an extended timeline ensuring that mobile and broadband operators get adequate time to make the shift from Huawei equipment. Therefore, the final deadline for this new standard to be implemented is extended till the end of 2027.

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