British mobile operators will have to remove all equipment from the Chinese company Huawei used in the 5G telecommunications infrastructure by the end of 2027, the government ordered today.
The decision was made today at a National Security Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in response to sanctions imposed by the United States on Huawei in May.
Thus, as of January 01, 2021, the purchase of any new Huawei 5G equipment will be banned and the existing one in the British mobile phone networks will have to be completely removed by the end of 2027, announced Culture Minister Oliver Dowden.
Two information and security agencies, the National Cyber Security Center and the Government Communications Center (GCHQ), produced a "detailed risk analysis for the 5G network".
"It was not an easy decision, but it is the right decision for British telecommunications networks, for our national security and for our economy, now and in the long term," said Dowden in parliament.
U.S. sanctions also affect Huawei products used in the UK's broadband fiber optic networks, so operators in this sector will also have to stop using the Chinese company as a supplier.
In January, the British government had decided to allow limited use of Huawei equipment on the condition that it was not present in crucial parts of the network.
At the time, without naming the company, but referring to “high-risk suppliers”, he argued that that decision allowed “to mitigate the potential risk represented by the supply chain and combat the range of threats, whether cyber criminals or country-sponsored attacks. ”.
The prime minister has been under pressure from dozens of Conservative MPs, who were threatening to vote against the government in parliament on related issues.
Former Foreign Minister William Hague writes today in the Daily Telegraph that "opinion has changed so significantly against Chinese technology that the government could not win a House of Commons vote on this issue without a major concession."
Huawei has been operating in the UK for more than 20 years and has been involved in the development of 2G, 3G and 4G networks, the equipment being considered cheaper and advanced than that of its competitors, but the US claims that the company poses a threat because it is too close to the Chinese state.