Monday 30 November 2020 12:02 am

Today: UK to outline roadmap to removing Huawei equipment from its 5G networks

The UK will today set out its plan to remove all “high risk” Huawei equipment from its 5G networks by 2027.

The government announced earlier this year that it will be illegal to purchase Huawei equipment to use in UK 5G networks from the end of this year.

Read more: Telecoms firms to face hefty fines under new Huawei laws

All existing equipment procured from the Chinese telecoms giant will then need to be removed from all 5G networks by 2027.

Digital secretary Oliver Dowden will later today announce that operators must stop installing any Huawei equipment from the end of September 2021.

The government will also say today that all “high risk vendors” will be banned from the UK’s 5G networks.

In a statement released yesterday, Dowden said: “Today I am setting out a clear path for the complete removal of high risk vendors from our 5G networks.

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“This will be done through new and unprecedented powers to identify and ban telecoms equipment which poses a threat to our national security.”

Diversification strategy

The digital secretary is also set to announce a £250m “diversification strategy” in a bid to ensure other companies are able to supply 5G equipment.

This will include funding a trial with Japanese telecoms provider NEC and creating a “National Telecoms Lab”, which will be “a secure research facility that will bring together operators, existing and new suppliers, academia and the government to create representative networks in which to research and test new ways of increasing security and interoperability”.

“We are also publishing a new strategy to make sure we are never again dependent on a handful of telecoms vendors for the smooth and secure running of our networks,” Dowden said.

“Our plans will spark a wave of innovation in the design of our future mobile networks.”

Read more: Ericsson boss backs rival Huawei after Swedish 5G ban

Huawei was banned from the UK, after the US imposed sanctions on the company that will severely affect its supply chain.

Boris Johnson said this development meant it could no longer trust that the company would not undertake surveillance of Britain for the Chinese government, a claim Huawei denies.