Tuesday, July 14, 2020

UK confirms ban on Huawei in 5G and broadband infrastructure

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has deciced to ban the purchase of Huawei equipment in 5G infrastructure in the UK after December 2020 and that already deployed equipment must be removed by 2027. The decision follows a technical review by the National Cyber Security Centre in response to U.S. sanctions against Huawei, and strengthens the previous partial-ban announced in January.

The NCSC reasoned that due to the U.S. sanctions, Huawei will need to reconfigure its supply chain and that security confidence could not be established with this unknown factor. The government is urging all UK operators to stop buying Huawei equipment immediately ahead of the legal ban at the end of the year.

For the UK's fixed access networks, where Huawei has been a supplier since 2005, the government isd advising full fibre operators to transition away from purchasing new Huawei equipment. A technical consultation will determine the transition timetable, but this period is expected to last no longer than two years.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden states: "5G will be transformative for our country, but only if we have confidence in the security and resilience of the infrastructure it is built upon. Following US sanctions against Huawei and updated technical advice from our cyber experts, the government has decided it is necessary to ban Huawei from our 5G networks. No new kit is to be added from January 2021, and UK 5G networks will be Huawei free by the end of 2027. This decisive move provides the industry with the clarity and certainty it needs to get on with delivering 5G across the UK. By the time of the next election we will have implemented in law an irreversible path for the complete removal of Huawei equipment from our 5G networks."