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Prime Minister to reduce Huawei’s UK 5G role to zero by 2023

Paul Lipscombe
May 26, 2020

Johnson gave Huawei a limited role in building 5G networks earlier this year

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly planning to cut Huawei’s involvement in building UK 5G networks by 2023

In an article first reported by The Telegraph, the government is looking to reduce the role to zero within three years.

This follows the US recently ramping up its efforts to stop Huawei, as the Trump Administration renewed the trade telecoms ban for a further year.

Johnson initially granted Huawei a limited role in supplying kit for the UK’s 5G networks in January this year.

However he capped the role to 35 per cent, and ensured no involvement in the core side of the network. 

The level of involvement was limited due to continuous allegations of security threats against Huawei.

In recent weeks it’s understood Johnson has come under pressure from Tory MPs to reassess the agreement.


The Chinese vendor supplies equipment to EE, Vodafone and Three’s 5G networks. 

A complete Huawei ban would require an alternative vendor, with either Ericsson or Nokia the most likely.  

Huawei’s current UK advisor Sir Mike Rake warned in March that restricting the vendor’s equipment will hold the UK back years. 

Huawei VP Victor Zhang reaffirmed its commitment to the UK’s 5G rollout through a statement. 

“The government decided in January to approve our part in the 5G rollout, because Britain needs the best possible technologies, more choice, innovation and more suppliers, all of which means more secure and more resilient networks.

“As a private company, 100 per cent owned by employees, which has operated in the UK for 20 years, our priority has been to help mobile and broadband companies keep Britain connected, which in this current health crisis has been more vital than ever. This is our proven track-record.”

Johnson is due to meet US President Donald Trump at the upcoming G7 Summit.

It is expected there will be discussions about Huawei and Post-Brexit trade deals.

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