The decision was taken on July 14 in a meeting of the National Security Council, chaired by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Mobile phone providers across the UK are being "banned from buying new Huawei 5G equipment" after Dec. 31, while all of the Chinese firm's kit must be removed from networks by 2027.
The existing ban on Huawei from the most sensitive 'core' parts of the 5G will also remain – a decision made earlier this year.
This move follows sanctions from the US, as well as a technical review by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and is set to delay the UK's 5G rollout by a year.
Mr Dowden commented:
"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.
"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."
Following the most recent US sanctions in May, the NCSC found that the company would require a "major reconfiguration of its supply chain," due to limited access to previous technology, and this consequently makes is “impossible to continue to guarantee the security of Huawei equipment in the future."
The NCSC is also advising full fibre operators to transition away from purchasing any new Huawei equipment – expecting the transition period to last no longer than two years.
Huawei's success in recent years has concerned the US in particular, which argues that the company is "ultimately beholden to the Chinese Communist Party," according to The Guardian, and therefore has the opportunity to undertake surveillance from its equipment. The company has supplied BT since 2003, while Vodafone is also another of its major customers.
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