Saturday, April 6, 2019

UK operators: Huawei ban would bring heavy cost

A restriction placed on Huawei in the telecom supply chain could delay a full 5G launch by between 18 and 24 months and cost the UK economy between £4.5bn and £6.8bn, according to a study published by Mobile UK, which is the trade association for the UK’s mobile network operators -  EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.


The study argues that a delay to 5G rollout while operators make alternative procurement arrangements with other suppliers may seriously threaten the UK’s aspiration to be a world leader in 5G, something that has been central to the UK government’s industrial strategy since 2016.



The report also provides the following summary of 5G plans

EE
EE plans to activate 5G sites in 16 UK cities in 2019. The first launch cities will be the UK’s four capital cities – London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast – and Birmingham and Manchester. As well as the six launch cities, through 2019 EE will also be introducing 5G across the busiest parts of ten more UK cities: Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol. The first 1,500 sites that EE is upgrading to 5G in 2019 carry 25% of all data across the whole network, covering 15% of the UK population. EE will launch with multiple smartphone partners, as well as an EE 5G home router with external antenna, to showcase the power of 5G for broadband. 

O2 
O2 will begin the roll-out of its 5G network in 2019 in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. Other areas of the UK will see roll-out from 2020 to coincide with the wider availability of 5G handsets.

Three 
Three will launch 5G in H2 2019 with a data-only Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) product as part of a £2bn network investment. The initial launch will be in London and other major cities where they see value to be greatest. This forms part of Three’s tiering strategy – to upgrade the busiest sites on its network. 

Vodafone 
Vodafone are already trialling 5G in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester and will be delivering 5G to Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton later in 2019.

See also