Saturday, 23 May 2020 10:25

UK changes Huawei 5G stance, to eliminate gear by 2023: report Featured

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Boris Johnson has changed tack on the use of Huawei equipment. Boris Johnson has changed tack on the use of Huawei equipment. Courtesy YouTube

Ahead of a visit to the US in June, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided to reduce the involvement of Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies in the country's 5G network to zero by the end of 2023, a report claims.

The Telegraph said Johnson's instructions to officials to draft plans for this scenario had come about due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In January, the UK announced that it would give Huawei a limited role in the country's 5G networks, giving the company a chance to bid for supplying up to 35% of equipment for non-core parts of the network.

The Telegraph said Johnson's decision was taken due to a growing backlash among his party's MPs against Chinese investment in Britain after the COVID-19 outbreak.

The decision to give Huawei a limited role was expected after the government of the previous prime minister, Theresa May, decided to allow Huawei to supply equipment for non-core parts of the network in April 2019.

That decision was not announced publicly, but leaked to one newspaper. Three telcos have already rolled out 5G networks, and all have used Huawei gear in the non-core parts of the network in keeping with the interim decision.

But China's actions during the pandemic appear to have sparked a rethink in the UK about Huawei's involvement in its 5G networks.

Additionally, there has been no let-up in pressure from the US for London to fall in line and block Huawei altogether.

Johnson's trip to the US is to participate in the G7 summit and he is expected to hold trade talks with the US.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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