The UK government has outlined plans to ban Chinese manufacturer Huawei from providing 5G equipment to telecommunications providers in the country.
This is a follow-up to threats that the government made about two years ago when the company was accused of breaching data security protocols. The country hopes to do away with all Huawei 5G equipment from its network by 2027.
To this effect, telcos in the UK have been ordered to rip off all Huawei 5G equipment from their infrastructure by December 2023. This includes equipment used at phone mast sites and telephone exchanges.
“We must have confidence in the security of our phone and internet networks which underpin so much about our economy and everyday lives,” said Digital Secretary Michelle Donelan.
Authorities in the UK and the US have on several occasions expressed fears of possible surveillance by the giant Chinese firm, which they believe has close ties to the Chinese military and the ruling Communist Party.
“Thanks to this government’s tough new laws we can drive up the security of telecoms infrastructure and control the use of high-risk equipment. Today I’m using these powers and making it a legal requirement for Huawei to be removed from 5G networks by 2027.”
In the United States, similar plans were outlined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC plans to ban sales of all equipment from Huawei and ZTE. In a statement issued earlier this week, equipment included in this list includes video devices such as CCTV cameras.
Huawei is among China’s leading manufacturers of technology equipment with a wide range of inventory in its portfolio. The company has fallen out of favour with several governments in the developed economies who believe it is using its financial muscle and technological abilities to discreetly collect crucial data from individuals and governments.