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Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
July 14, 2020

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5G

Huawei role in UK 5G network set to be removed

The Digital Secretary for the UK, Oliver Dowden, has told the House of Commons that Huawei is set to be stripped of its role in the county’s 5G network due to security concerns.

The decision was taken today (14th July 2020), 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 31 December, 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.

You can find out more on the full response from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, as well as the National Cyber Security Centre, here. 

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