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UK to ban installation of Huawei 5G kit from September

November 30, 2020

British telecom companies will not be allowed to install new Huawei 5G equipment after September 2021, the UK government has announced ahead of a debate on new telecom legislation.

Huawei Deutschland Zentrale
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/R. Vennenbernd

The UK government on Monday announced that it will ban British telecommunication companies from installing new Huawei 5G gear after September 2021, as part of its plan to phase out the Chinese tech giant's 5G infrastructure.

"We are taking bold steps to implement one of the toughest telecoms security regimes in the world," Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said in a statement.

"A central part of that is combating high-risk vendors, and I have set out an unambiguous timetable for the complete removal of Huawei equipment from our 5G networks no later than 2027," he said.

Read moreOpinion: Europe will not follow the US 'China-free' 5G strategy

"This will be done through new and unprecedented powers to identify and ban telecom equipment which poses a threat to our national security," the minister said.

Dowden's new deadline comes ahead of a debate on the Telecommunications (Security) Bill in parliament on Monday.

The UK government in July reversed its policy to allow Huawei to provide infrastructure for its 5G network under pressure from the United States, which said the Chinese firm posed a security risk.

It ordered a ban on buying new Huawei equipment after the end of this year and the complete removal of the Chinese firm's equipment from its 5G networks by the end of 2027.

Read moreHuawei: A Global Force

Under the new legislation, British telecom companies could be fined up to 10% of turnover or £100,000 ($133,140/ €111,434) a day if they contravene the ban.

The government on Monday also announced its strategy to diversify the 5G supply chain, consisting of an initial £250 million investment, trials in collaboration with Japanese firm NEC and the establishment of new research facilities.

adi/dr (Reuters, dpa)