Huawei 5G installation banned from 2021

The government has today announced that operators will be banned from installing Huawei 5G equipment from September 2021.

Earlier this year, in response to US sanctions, the government announced that operators should stop procuring new Huawei equipment from the end of 2020 and remove all Huawei equipment by the end of 2027.

The ban is part of a new Telecoms Security Bill which gives the government powers to control high-risk vendors.

The new bill comes alongside a £250 million strategy to diversify 5G telecoms market with plans for a world-class National Telecoms Lab and trials with Japanese vendor NEC.

“Today I am setting out a clear path for the complete removal of high-risk vendors from our 5G networks,” said Oliver Dowden, digital secretary. “This will be done through new and unprecedented powers to identify and ban telecoms equipment which poses a threat to our national security.

“We are also publishing a new strategy to make sure we are never again dependent on a handful of telecoms vendors for the smooth and secure running of our networks. Our plans will spark a wave of innovation in the design of our future mobile networks.”

A new 5G supply chain diversification strategy

Today the digital secretary also published a new 5G supply chain diversification strategy outlining the government’s approach to building a “resilient, open and sustainable supply chain.”

The government said the strategy will help to mitigate the resilience risks to 5G networks ahead of the 2027 deadline.

In a statement the government said the strategy would tackle overreliance on vendors and “and pave the way for better connectivity.”

The strategy involves funding a new Open RAN trial with Japanese telecoms vendor NEC.

The project will be based in Wales and will expect to see live 5G Open RAN in the UK by 2021.

Alongside this, the government plans to establish a world-class National Telecoms Lab, which will be a “secure research facility that will bring together operators, existing and new suppliers, academia and the government to create representative networks in which to research and test new ways of increasing security and interoperability.”

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