United Kingdom

New Huawei equipment will be banned from UK's 5G network 'next year'

Telecommunications firms will be banned from installing new Huawei equipment into the UK's 5G network from September next year, it was claimed today. 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is expected to announce the 'end of installation' date tomorrow.

The proposed cutoff date is much sooner than had been expected after reports last week said the Government was looking to impose the ban from 2022 at the earliest. 

A Government source told The Sunday Telegraph: 'This new "end of installation" date shows we are serious and sets out an irreversible pathway to Huawei's removal from Britain's 5G networks. Now the companies need to get on with it.'   

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden will tomorrow announce a ban on new Huawei equipment being installed in the UK's 5G network from September 2021

The Government announced in July that it was U-turning on a decision it made in January to grant the Chinese tech giant a role in building Britain's 5G network. 

The company was banned from the network and all of its existing 5G technology has to be stripped out by 2027 over national security concerns.  

The decision to also impose a cutoff date for installing new equipment represents a significant victory for Conservative rebels who have been urging the Government to go further in its crackdown on Huawei.     

The decision to ban Huawei from the 5G network promoted a furious response from Beijing and came after the US had urged its allies not to use the company's technology because of national security concerns - concerns which have always been rejected by the firm. 

The prospect of a swift ban on installing Huawei 5G equipment is likely to further strain relations between Britain and China.   

Ministers last week formally tabled legislation in Parliament which will give them greater powers to shut out so-called high risk vendors from the UK's telecoms infrastructure.  

The Telecommunications (Security) Bill cements the Government's decision to ban Huawei from the 5G network.  

It will create national security powers which will allow the Government to impose controls on when – if at all – a telecoms firm could use material supplied by companies such as Huawei. 

Huawei has said it believes the decision to exclude it from the UK's 5G network is 'politically-motivated' 

Under the proposals, security protocols around UK networks will be strengthened, with fines of 10 per cent of turnover or £100,000 a day for firms which do not comply with the new standards.

Communications regulator Ofcom is to be tasked with the monitoring and assessing of security protocols among telecoms providers. 

Huawei has said it believes the decision to exclude it from the UK's 5G network is 'politically-motivated and not based on a fair evaluation of the risks'.  

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