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Huawei kit must be stripped from UK 5G networks by 2027

Operators will be required to 'transition away' from buying new Huawei equipment for use in the full-fibre network over the next two years.

Article originally published by The Telegraph. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

UK mobile providers are also banned from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after the end of the year

The Government has ordered telecoms businesses to remove all Huawei equipment from the UK's 5G networks by 2027, triggering a renewed clash with Beijing.

UK's mobile providers will also be banned from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after the end of this year-a move that is expected to delay the rollout of 5G by a year.

"This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the UK telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run," said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

Operators will be required to "transition away" from buying new Huawei equipment for use in the full-fibre network over the next two years.

The announcement follows a review conducted by the National Security Council into a report of upcoming US sanctions on the Chinese telecoms company.

The report concluded that the new US sanctions, set to be introduced in September, risk causing gaps in supplies of vital components from Huawei.

Mr Dowden, said that the NCSC had warned that the new US sanctions "significantly changed their security assessment of Huawei’s presence in 5G."

"The UK can no longer be confident that it will be able to guarantee Huawei 5G equipment," he added. "To be clear, from the end of this year, telecoms operators must not buy any new 5G equipment from Huawei."

The NCSC has already written to the country’s largest operators urging them to build up a stockpile of Huawei kit in case the US sanctions cause severe supply constraints.

The decision – following intense pressure from both the US administration of Donald Trump and backbench Tory MPs – marks a major U-turn by the Government.

In January, ministers announced Huawei could play a limited role in the 5G network, despite warnings that its equipment could be used by China for espionage or to disrupt the UK's critical national infrastructure.

Donald Trump’s administration has accused Huawei of having a close relationship with the Chinese government and army, which it has warned could mean that its equipment is co-opted for espionage purposes.

Huawei executives have denied these claims and offered to sign “no-spy” agreements with governments around the world.

“This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone," said Ed Brewster, a spokesperson for Huawei UK.

"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."

We will conduct a detailed review of what today’s announcement means for our business here and will work with the UK government to explain how we can continue to contribute to a better connected Britain.

Today’s announcement will trigger a years-long national effort to remove functioning 4G and 5G equipment built by Huawei. The cost to operators of the removal has been estimated at up to £2bn by Enders Analysis.

BT and Vodafone, the largest operators to use Huawei kit, have warned that removal of the Chinese equipment could cause signal blackouts as well as delays to the continued roll-out of 5G across the country.

Telecoms businesses are set to lobby the Government for a compensation package which may include financial compensation for removing Huawei equipment, as well as other benefits including reduced prices in Ofcom’s upcoming spectrum auction and cheaper annual licence fees for their use of the country’s 5G spectrum.


This article was written by James Cook from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Article originally published by The Telegraph. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

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