The Financial Times reported that as part of plans of phasing out Huawei by 2027, the UK government is banning the installation of new Huawei 5G equipment from September 2021 onwards. This decision follows the government’s announcement in July where it was announced that firms would be barred from buying new equipment from January 2021 over national security concerns.
In short, this announcement means that any telecoms companies who have stockpiled Huawei equipment ahead of January will now not be able to use this for long term 5G rollouts. The Financial Times report conveys that some companies have been stockpiling Huawei 5G equipment since summer. As per BBC News, firms will still be allowed to maintain old equipment after September.
New legislation has been set for Parliamentary debate this week which will start the process of enshrining the ban in law and set out how enforcement guidelines. In the UK, under the Telecommunications Security Bill, telecoms companies could be fined up to 10 percent of turnover or £100,000 per day if they don’t comply.
So far companies like Ericsson and Nokia have picked up several contracts to replace Huawei’s equipment and over it, the UK government itself promised an investment of £250 million to encourage the growth of smaller players in the industry. It seems the UK government is also taking care to reduce the impact of removing Huawei’s equipment from 5G networks. Recently, the UK government promised to set up a new National Telecoms Lab and investment in open radio technology.
As of now, Huawei did not respond to any news outbreaks. It should be noted that in the past, the firm has consistently denied posing as a national security risk. Earlier, Huawei Vice-President Victor Zhang concluded UK’s decision as “politically motivated and not based on a fair evaluation of the risks”.