United Kingdom has moved forward and banned Huawei from country’s 5G telecom network. The company is to be stripped off its 5G role by 2027. This has put a U-turn in January’s decision which had allowed the beleaguered Chinese company to have a limited but significant role in UK’s high-speed wireless infrastructure. This also put UK’s PM Boris Johnson in an uncomfortable position due to the date as conservative leaders in the country want Chinese tech company ousted from UK much earlier than that and in a more comprehensive manner.
Prime telecom operators in UK like BT and Vodafone have been instructed to remove all the existing Huawei equipment from their 5G networks by 2027. The announcement was made by the UK government on Tuesday.
Oliver Dowden, UK’s Digital and Cultural Minister said that the recent developments in country in regards to Huawei can be seen as an aftermath of US sanctions imposed in May which had “significantly changed the landscape.” Dowden announced that after December 31 this year no new Huawei 5G kit can be purchased. Although his standing that older versions – 2G, 3G and 4G kits – can be still used until no longer required has disappointed the conservative leaders and rebels in UK who want Huawei to be “completely eliminated” from the country. In an attempt to placate certain MPs Bowden elaborated that UK is now on an “irreversible path” to eliminate “high risk vendors” like Huawei in 5G networks before general elections scheduled in 2024.
“Given the uncertainty this creates around Huawei’s supply chain, the UK can no longer be confident it will be able to guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment”, Dowden commented.
Rebel leader Iain Duncan Smith has raised questions on Dowden’s statement and course of action. He said, “So if there are risks in 5G why are they not a risk to us generally.” Smith and many other rebel leaders advocate “banning Huawei altogether.” In reply Dowden has said that 5G network can be replaced by 6G where Huawei equipment wont be present.
The decision holds a key win for Donald Trump’s administration who have been gathering allies to push out Huawei from their 5G networks, citing the Chinese tech company’s role as a potential national security threat.
But when analyzing current outlook and “aggressive” attitude of China against any “internal matter interference” or likewise, a possible backlash from Beijing is a big possibility for Britain, especially as the latter is eyeing opportunities in trading sector across the world post Brexit.
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