Chinese telecoms giant Huawei will be banned from Britain’s 5G phone networks by 2027, the UK culture secretary, Oliver Dowden announced today, and no new Huawei 5G kits can be bought after 31 December 2020.
The announcement follows sanctions recently imposed by the US government, which claimed that the company poses a national security threat – a sentiment echoed by the UK.
Mr Dowden said, “This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the UK telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run.”
In January, it was decided that Huawei risk would be manageable if the firm wasn’t allowed to have a monopoly, prompting UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cap Huawei’s market share at 35 per cent for the country’s future high-speed 5G networks.
Today's announced restrictions placed on Huawei will delay the roll out of 5G in the UK, Mr Dowden told UK MPs, resulting in added costs to phone companies and ultimately to consumers.
Huawei reacted to the restrictions, saying they are “bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone” and threatened to “move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide”.