HUAWEI phones and laptops are still safe to use and buy despite the Government’s decision to ban new 5G tech from the Chinese telecommunications giant.
Oliver Dowden announced this lunchtime Huawei will be banned from taking part in the UK’s 5G rollout – and UK operators will need to begin ditching any tech from the company over the next few years.
Mr Dowden said today the UK “can no longer rely on Huawei equipment” because US sanctions against China means the firm is now unable to use key American-made components and would have to rely on its own software.
Officials are worried about the new chips and their impact on the UK’s network.
But officials said today that although Huawei will be barred from using their technology in the UK’s 5G network, laptops and mobile phones made by the Chinese state-owned tech giant are still safe.
This is because existing devices have not been affected by the sanctions from the US.
But new phone models won’t have access to Google or Microsoft apps, security officials have confirmed.
The US previously stopped tech companies working with Huawei.
Since last year new Huawei phones haven’t been able to be sold with Google apps etc on them – but Huawei have their own versions.
It won’t affect older phones for now, however.
The Government already put limits on the Huawei – what was labelled a “high risk vendor” – by banning them from taking part in the core elements of the new 5G cable and capping their market share to 35 per cent.
But it will take until 2027 for all bits of Huawei technology to be taken out of the UK’s 5G network.
The massive U-turn came after the PM met with the National Security Council who judged the block on US-produced products to be a “game changer”.
- The ban will come in for new parts to the 5G network from 1 Jan 2021
- Huawei’s 5G network can’t be ditched straight away as there’s only one other supplier who can be used right now – Nokia
- Fibre internet providers will have two years to phase out Huawei products in their current internet technology – costing £2billion
- Today Lord Browne of Madingley stepped down early as the UK chairman of Huawei Technologies ahead of the ban
UK broadband operators are being advised to move away from using the company’s products over the next few years.
Mr Dowden told the Commons today: “The best way to secure our networks is for operators to stop using new affected Huawei equipment to build the UK future 5g networks.
“So to be clear from the end of this year, telecoms operators must not buy any 5g equipment from Huawei.
“And once the telecom security Bill is passed. It will be illegal for them to do so.”
The ban on Huawei means the rollout of the 5G cable will be delayed by years – and will cost an extra £2billion.
Mr Dowden told MPs: “Today’s decision to ban the procurement of new Huawei 5G equipment from the end of this year will delay the rollout by a further year.”