‘Bad News For Everyone in UK’: Huawei Slams Ban on Its 5G Hardware

The US FCC has already banned Huawei and ZTE technology from being used in their telecommunications network. 

Updated
Tech News
3 min read
Huawei. Image used for representational purpose.
i

The United Kingdom has announced that it is going to ban Chinese company Huawei’s 5G technology and equipment from its telecommunications network by the end of this year.

This decision comes amid mounting pressure from the US and as part of the UK’s efforts to crack down on multiple security issues that the Chinese company has been embroiled in over the past couple of months.

The move, which could dent UK’s relations with China, will be welcomed by its allies, mainly the US.

Responding to the move, Huawei in a statement, described it as a “disappointing decision” and stated the company’s “future in the UK has become politicized, this is about US trade policy and not security.”

The Chinese company added this was “bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone” and stated that it will conduct a detailed review of what the announcement means for the Chinese company’s future in the UK.

As per a Bloomberg report, telecom operators will not be allowed to add any hardware to their networks that have been manufactured by Huawei. All the equipment by the Shenzhen-based company that is already installed in the systems will have to be removed by 2027, the government has said.

This is a big u-turn by the UK government which, in January this year, gave Huawei restricted access to the country’s 5G network.

As per the guidelines that were shared earlier, mobile operators in the country had to remove only certain sections of Huawei’s kit in non-essential parts of their infrastructure.

In response, China has warned the UK government and said that the country will face “consequences” if it treats Beijing as a “hostile partner.”

Huawei Responds Post Ban

Below is the full transcript of Huawei’s statement on the issue. Company spokesperson, Edward Brewster, of Huawei UK, said:

"This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone. It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide. Instead of ‘levelling up’ the government is levelling down and we urge them to reconsider. We remain confident that the new US restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply to the UK.

Regrettably our future in the UK has become politicized, this is about US trade policy and not security. Over the past 20 years, Huawei has focused on building a better connected UK. As a responsible business, we will continue to support our customers as we have always done.

We will conduct a detailed review of what today’s announcement means for our business here and will work with the UK government to explain how we can continue to contribute to a better connected Britain."

US Termed Huawei & ZTE as ‘National Security Threats’

Just this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States had banned telecom hardware manufacturers Huawei and ZTE, classifying them as ‘security threats’ due to their alleged ties with the Chinese military. Huawei has denied these claims.

That decision led to a probe by UK’s National Cyber Security Center after which the call was taken to remove Huawei from their digital infrastructure.

Huawei has been pumping in a lot of investments in the UK, which includes a new research and development centre in Cambridge. The facility caters to developers who will invest their resources in making apps for Huawei’s operating system, since Google has banned the hardware maker.

The phase-out is going to take a toll on telecom operators in the UK, who’ll now have to remove the hardware in question over the next seven years. Not to mention that this decision will also delay the rollout of 5G in the country.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Published: 
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!