In a sweeping turn of events, the UK government has banned Huawei from providing 5G infrastructure equipment to local carriers. Effective after December 31, British telecom operators will no longer be allowed to buy or use Huawei 5G components in their next-gen networks.
The decision was signed off by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a meeting with the National Security Council (NSC) and in addition orders all currently deployed Huawei 5G equipment to be removed by 2027.
We have been clear-eyed from the start that the Chinese-owned vendors Huawei and ZTE were deemed to be high risk. The NCSC has now reported to ministers that they have significantly changed their security assessment of Huawei’s presence in the UK 5G network.
Given the uncertainty this creates around Huawei’s supply chain, the UK can no longer be confident it will be able to guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment. The best way to secure our networks is for operators to stop using new affected Huawei equipment to build the UK’s future 5G networks. – Oliver Dowden
The new resolution is based on advice from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in response to the latest US sanctions against Huawei and its chipset supply from earlier this May. It’s also a reprisal of the UK government’s previous decision from January to allow Huawei’s 5G equipment.
Huawei UK issued the following statement in regards to the new decision:
This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone. 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 remain confident that the new US restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply to the UK.
Regrettably, our future in the UK has become politicized, this is about US trade policy and not security. Over the past 20 years, Huawei has focused on building a better connected UK. As a responsible business, we will continue to support our customers as we have always done.
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.