By Caribbean News Global
LONDON, England – The United Kingdom plans to ban Huawei from future 5G networks and phase out untrusted Huawei equipment from existing networks, was welcomed by US State Department, following the UK’s technical review by the National Cyber Security Centre in response to US sanctions.
“HUAWEI will be completely removed from the UK’s 5G networks by the end of 2027, the government announced, following new advice produced by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on the impact of US sanctions against the telecommunications vendor. Ahead of this, there will be a total ban on the purchase of any new 5G kit after December 31, 2020.”
The decision was taken July 14 in a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) chaired by prime minister, Boris Johnson in response to new US sanctions, imposed on Huawei in May, after the UK’s initial decision on high-risk vendors. These are the first measures to remove the firm’s access to products which have been built based on US semiconductor technology.
“Technical experts at the NCSC 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. They found the new restrictions make it impossible to continue to guarantee the security of Huawei equipment in the future.
“As a result, the ministers agreed that UK operators should stop the purchase of Huawei equipment affected by the sanctions. There will be a ban on the purchase of new Huawei kit for 5G from next year and it will be completely removed from 5G networks by the end of 2027,” the government statement said.
Reportedly, the decision examined specific national circumstances including, how the risks from these sanctions are manifested in the UK, and that the existing restrictions on Huawei’s sensitive and critical parts of the network remain in place.
“With this decision, the UK joins a growing list of countries from around the world that are standing up for their national security by prohibiting the use of untrusted, high-risk vendors. We will continue to work with our British friends on fostering a secure and vibrant 5G ecosystem, which is critical to Transatlantic security and prosperity. Countries need to be able to trust that 5G equipment and software will not threaten national security, economic security, privacy, intellectual property, or human rights,” US Department of State added. “The momentum in favor of secure 5G is building. The UK joins democracies such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Sweden in banning Huawei from future 5G networks. Clean carriers like Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK and KT in South Korea, NTT in Japan, and others have also prohibited the use of Huawei equipment in their networks.”
The US action also affects Huawei products used in the UK’s full-fibre broadband networks. However, the UK has managed Huawei’s presence in the UK’s fixed access networks since 2005 and we also need to avoid a situation where broadband operators are reliant on a single supplier for their equipment.
“As a result, following security advice from our world-leading experts, we are advising full-fibre operators to transition away from purchasing new Huawei equipment. A technical consultation will determine the transition timetable, but we expect this period to last no longer than two years. This approach strikes the right balance by recognising full fibre’s established presence and supporting the connections that the public relies on, while fully addressing the security concerns of our world-leading experts,” the UK government announcement further advised.
The UK government will now seek to legislate at the earliest opportunity with a new Telecoms Security Bill to put in place the powers necessary to implement tough new telecoms security framework. It will give the government the national security powers to impose these new controls on high-risk vendors and create extensive security duties on network operators to drive up standards.
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.”