The UK has officially banned Huawei from its 5G networks.
This means that mobile operators will not be allowed to add new Huawei components to their 5G networks from 1 January 2021.
Additionally, all Huawei equipment already installed in 5G infrastructure will need to be removed by 2027.
“The government has decided it is necessary to ban Huawei from our 5G networks,” said culture secretary Oliver Dowden.
“This decisive move provides the industry with the clarity and certainty it needs to get on with delivering 5G across the UK.”
The UK government has also warned operators that they should stop buying Huawei equipment for their fixed full-fibre broadband networks, as it has plans to implement measures upon these fixed networks too.
The ban of Huawei will cost UK operators up to £2 billion and will cause delays to the rollout of 5G networks by between two and three years.
UK is “levelling down” – Huawei
Huawei UK spokesperson Edward Brewster said the decision is disappointing for anyone in the UK who uses a mobile phone.
“It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide,” said Brewster.
“Instead of ‘levelling up’ the government is levelling down and we urge them to reconsider.”
Brewster said that Huawei’s future in the UK has become politicised. “This is about US trade policy and not security,” he said.
“We remain confident that the new US restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply to the UK.”
Brewster added that Huawei will conduct a detailed review of what the UK’s announcement means for the company’s business in the UK.
“[Huawei] will work with the UK government to explain how we can continue to contribute to a better connected Britain,” Brewster said.