In order not to endanger relations with the USA, Great Britain prohibits the use of Huawei technology. This can now be expensive for providers in the country.
The Chinese technology group Huawei should now definitely not be involved in the expansion of the superfast 5G mobile network in Great Britain. This was announced by the responsible British Minister Oliver Dowden in Parliament in London.
The purchase of Huawei components for network providers in the UK should therefore be banned from the end of this year. Parts already installed are to be removed by 2027, according to Dowden.
Security concerns mentioned as a reason
At the beginning of the year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government had at least partially allowed Huawei’s participation. It is expected that the expansion of the 5G network in Great Britain will now be set back by years due to the U-turn.
According to the government, the reason for the move is not only security concerns but also the consequences of the recently imposed US sanctions against Huwawei. Washington has been trying to put pressure on its partners for months to exclude Huawei from expanding its 5G networks. Britain is hoping for a lucrative trade agreement with the United States after it leaves the European Union. A dispute over Huawei could have put considerable strain on the negotiations.
But the British also hoped to increase trade with China after the Brexit. But relations with Beijing are currently tense anyway due to the dispute over the security law introduced by China in the former British crown colony in Hong Kong.
High costs for providers possible
The change of course by the British government is costing the country’s mobile operators. Since the fourth generation of mobile communications 4G (LTE) and 5G build on each other technically, existing LTE technology from Huawei could have been upgraded to 5G comparatively easily.
However, if you exclude Huawei as a provider in the 5G network, the Chinese 4G systems must also be removed as part of the 5G upgrade, although they are actually still fully functional. Therefore, the providers in Germany are also opposed to ban Huawei from the competition. However, neither Telekom nor Vodafone and Telefónica use Huawei in their core networks.