The UK had a change of heart about Huawei.
On Tuesday, the UK government announced it has banned mobile providers in the country from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after the end of 2020. And it said all Huawei 5G equipment must be removed from their networks by 2027.
The decision comes six months after the UK allowed the Chinese company to have a limited role in Britain’s 5G networks. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre was previously reported as saying that Huawei 5G equipment does not present very big risks for the country.
It appears that the UK’s decision was a result of pressure from its own Conservative Party and the United States. The U.S. considered changing its intelligence-sharing policy with the UK if the country chose to rely on Huawei 5G equipment.
The UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the decision will cost the country millions of pounds and delay the rollout of 5G. “This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one,″ he said.
The UK telecoms are allowed to keep legacy Huawei equipment used in earlier systems, such as 4G.
Huawei said it was disappointed with the decision, calling it “bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone.”
“It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide. Instead of ‘levelling up’ the government is levelling down and we urge them to reconsider,” Edward Brewster, spokesperson for Huawei UK, said in a written statement. “We remain confident that the new US restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply to the UK.”