The Government has ordered telecoms businesses to remove all Huawei equipment from the UK’s 5G networks by 2027, triggering a renewed clash with Beijing.
UK’s mobile providers will also be banned from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after the end of this year – a move that is expected to delay the rollout of 5G by a year.
“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,” said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
Operators will be required to “transition away” from buying new Huawei equipment for use in the full-fibre network over the next two years.
The announcement follows a review conducted by the National Security Council into a report of upcoming US sanctions on the Chinese telecoms company.
The report concluded that the new US sanctions, set to be introduced in September, risk causing gaps in supplies of vital components from Huawei.
Mr Dowden, said that the NCSC had warned that the new US sanctions “significantly changed their security assessment of Huawei’s presence in 5G.”
“The UK can no longer be confident that it will be able to guarantee Huawei 5G equipment,” he added. “To be clear, from the end of this year, telecoms operators must not buy any new 5G equipment from Huawei.”
The NCSC has already written to the country’s largest operators urging them to build up a stockpile of Huawei kit in case the US sanctions cause severe supply constraints.