New Huawei products are to be banned from the UK’s 5G network infrastructure from December 31 this year, the culture secretary has confirmed in a major policy U-turn.
Oliver Dowden also announced that all Huawei equipment currently being used within UK 5G will have to be completely ripped out by 2027.
“No new kit is to be added from January 2021, and UK 5G networks will be Huawei free by the end of 2027,” Mr Dowden said.
Huawei said the decision means “bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone” and “threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane”.
Mr Dowden admitted “this will have real consequences for the connections on which all our constituents rely.”
Updating MPs in the House of Commons, Mr Dowden added the decision had been made after US sanctions imposed in May forced the 5G giant to use untrusted microchips in their products.
A spokesman for Huawei UK said the firm’s future in the UK had been “politicised” and claimed the move is “about US trade policy and not security”.
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