UK set to start Huawei 5G phase-out

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to begin phasing out the use of Huawei Technologies Co. equipment in the U.K.’s 5G telecoms network as soon as this year, a person familiar with the matter said.
A report from the National Cybersecurity Centre concluded that new U.S. sanctions mean Huawei will have to use untrusted technology, making security risks impossible to control, according to the person, who confirmed a story in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
Officials are drawing plans to speed up the removal of existing Huawei kit, although an exact timetable is yet to be set, said the person, who asked not to be named discussing unpublished proposals. No date has yet been set for a cross-government discussion at the National Security Council.
“If the U.S. imposes sanctions, which they have done, we believe that could have a significant impact on the reliability of Huawei equipment and when we can use it safely,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told Sky News when asked about the prospect of phasing out Huawei.
If taken, the decision would mark a U-turn by Johnson’s administration, which in January cleared Huawei to participate in the U.K.’s 5G build-out subject to strict conditions, including a 35% cap on its involvement and a bar on its gear being used in parts of the network deemed sensitive. Ministers argued the U.K. needed diversity in its suppliers, and that any risks involved in using Chinese equipment could be mitigated. MDT/Bloomberg

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