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Huawei locked out of UK’s 5G network

The UK government has reversed its earlier decision to use Huawei Technologies’ telco equipment in its 5G infrastructure.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported this comes due to pressure from the US and a growing number of ruling party lawmakers in the UK government.

More specifically, the UK government said last week, that it intends to ban the purchase of new Huawei 5G equipment, as well as remove all Huawei devices from the country’s 5G networks by 2027.

Digital and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the decision was not easy but it was the right one for the country’s telecom networks as well as for their national security and economy.

This decision was made despite the government recognition of a cumulative 5G delay of 2 to 3 years, with costs up to 2 billion pounds.

Besides national security, one of the other reasons the secretary alluded to for the decision reversal, was US sanctions which threatens to impact Huawei’s supply chain.

Another report by NAR shared observations by cybersecurity expert Nigel Inkster, that it would be very hard to completely shut Huawei out from UK networks. For one, it is very expensive to do so, and BT Group estimates the cost to be 500 million pounds over the next five years, to replace Huawei equipment currently in their network infrastructure.

Nigel who spent 31 years with MI6, even as its director of operations and intelligence, said, “Who is going to pay for it?”

The second reason is the following: There are really no other companies around the world who can deliver at scale (of Huawei and other Chinese telecom equipment markers).

Before the decision to lock out Huawei was made last week, UK’s policy had been to limit the use of the Chinese company’s technology to 35-percent of only their non-core elements.

Huawei’s representative in UK has issued a statement that, “We remain confident that the new U.S. restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply to the UK.” The statement also urged the UK government to reconsider.