The government led by Boris Johnson has joined the ranks of countries such as United States and Australia to ban Huawei from participating in the next generation of mobile networks. While United States and Australia have downright banned the latter, the U.K has chosen to counter Huawei with a soft ban by setting a time period of 7 years to complete the ban. U.K’s Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden told the House of Commons of the decisions.
The U.K quotes “intense security reasons” for the ban which Huawei downright denies. While the next generation of mobile network boasts of faster internet speeds and the capacity to support more wireless devices, U.K currently hosts the 5G networks spectrum, however, coverage is still sparse. Mr. Dowden further adds that the total cost of the moves when coupled with earlier restrictions on Huawei would cost up to $2 billion with a total delay of rolling out 5G by a period of “two to three years”.
“This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the UK telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run,” he said. The U.K will still support 2G, 3G and 4G network that is supplied by the Huawei end. The ban on Huawei will force network providers in the U.K to switch to a different supplier in terms of network equipments and hardware solutions as well.
Huawei was quick to criticize the move, threatening London of getting in the 5G race at a slower pace than the rest of the world. Huawei said the move was “bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone” and threatened to “move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide.”