British Government Bans Huawei 5G Equipment From Mobile Networks

The British government has banned mobile providers from purchasing Huawei 5G equipment after Dec. 31. All 5G kit supplied by the company must be removed from U.K. networks by 2027.

The move is likely to worsen the U.K.’s relationship with China, already under strain due to their differences over Hong Kong.

Digital secretary Oliver Dowden told U.K. lawmakers of the decision Tuesday.

“This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the U.K. telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run,” he said.

He said that the effect of this and previous decision regarding Huawei would delay the 5G rollout by two to three years and at a cost of up to £2 billion ($2.5 billion).

The decision came after the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Huawei, preventing it from using microchips from American suppliers. The British government asked the National Cyber Security Centre, part of its national security apparatus, to review Huawei’s security, which reported that its kit could not be considered secure if it had to use non-U.S. components.