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Huawei to be removed from UK 5G networks by 2027

Following new advice produced by the National Cyber Security Centre, the government has announced that Huawei will be completely removed from the UK’s 5G networks by the end of 2027.

There will also be a total ban on the purchase of any new 5G kit after 31 December 2020, in response to new US sanctions. These were imposed on Huawei in May, after the UK’s initial decision on high risk vendors, and are the first of their kind removing the firm’s access to products which have been built based on US semiconductor technology.

The National Cyber Security Centre reviewed the consequences of the sanctions and concluded the company will need to do a major reconfiguration of its supply chain as it will no longer have access to the technology on which it currently relies and there are no alternatives which we have sufficient confidence in.

Taking everything into account, the NCSC said that the new restrictions make it impossible to continue to guarantee the security of Huawei equipment in the future.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “5G will be transformative for our country, but only if we have confidence in the security and resilience of the infrastructure it is built upon. Following US sanctions against Huawei and updated technical advice from our cyber experts, the government has decided it is necessary to ban Huawei from our 5G networks.

“No new kit is to be added from January 2021, and UK 5G networks will be Huawei free by the end of 2027. This decisive move provides the industry with the clarity and certainty it needs to get on with delivering 5G across the UK. By the time of the next election we will have implemented in law an irreversible path for the complete removal of Huawei equipment from our 5G networks.”

The existing restrictions on Huawei in sensitive and critical parts of the network remain in place.

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