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Six month delay to Huawei non-core removal deadline due to Covid

Ian White
February 21, 2022

Four-week consultancy to greenlight Huawei’s banishment

The deadline to remove Huawei equipment in the non-core network has been delayed by six months to 31 July 2023 due to difficulties caused by Covid.

Huawei is not leaving the UK completely for another five years.

The Government is now consulting on the legalities of full removal of all 5G Huawei equipment by the end of 2027 as the new Telecommunications (Security) Act requires it to consult with the industry on the proposed measures. The consultancy is needed to bring these controls on Huawei onto a legal footing.

The legal instruments are known as a ‘designated vendor direction’ and contain requirements that networks would need to follow regarding the use of Huawei equipment and services and a ‘designation notice’ which categorises Huawei as a high-risk vendor.

The consultation will last four weeks. It is only open to public communications providers who would have to obey the directive and Huawei, as the proposed designated vendor.

A Huawei spokesperson said:

 “We note the government’s consultation and will continue to support our UK customers with our network equipment, which is recognised as being among the most secure and trusted in the world.

“Political pressures have already forced the Government to exclude Huawei from 5G, delaying its rollout by several years. These same pressures will jeopardise the rollout of fibre broadband, unnecessarily pushing up costs for businesses and families.

“The country has the right to expect decisions to be made based on facts rather than unfounded security concerns.”

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “The government is committed to ensuring the security and resilience of our phone and internet networks. Last year we brought in new laws to protect UK infrastructure from high-risk vendors and issue tough sanctions on providers which fall short of our high-security standards. This consultation marks the next step in removing the risks posed by Huawei”

All Huawei 5G equipment has to be removed by the end of 2027.

Huawei equipment has to be taken out of the core network by the end of January 2023. Inter-operator intra-core transmission equipment must be removed by 31 December 31, 2025

Networks have already started to remove the equipment following the government’s announcement 18 months ago.

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