In the U.K, cellular carriers The British government said Monday that it would not be permitted to install Huawei devices on its high-speed 5G networks until September 2021, hardening the stance toward the Chinese technology business.
The deadline is part of a roadmap set by the British government to eradicate ‘high-risk equipment vendors with draught regulations aimed at tightening the standards for telecommunications security.
In July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government barred Huawei from playing a part in developing the next-generation cell phone networks in Britain over security issues raised by U.S. sanctions. Since the U.S. pressured allies to shun Huawei over concerns the equipment might be exploited by Chinese communist rulers to promote cyber-surveillance, Britain and other European countries have begun to fall in line.
By the end of the year, telecom operators were told to stop purchasing Huawei 5G equipment and had until 2027 to uninstall from their platforms all of the company’s existing hardware.
While the moratorium suggested that operators will have to stop adding Huawei equipment, the new statement explicitly spells the deadline out – making it more difficult for them to store equipment.
Huawei has refused to comment. It has previously dismissed the U.S. claims and said it was politically motivated to bar Britain.
“I am setting out a clear path today for the complete removal from our 5G networks of high-risk vendors,” said Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden. “This will be achieved through new and unprecedented powers to identify and ban telecommunications facilities which pose a threat to our national security.”
The Telecommunications (Safety) Bill, which is expected to be discussed in Parliament on Tuesday, includes tighter 5G wireless and fiber optic network security requirements and threatens heavy penalties on enterprises who do not comply with the regulations.
The government is also laying out a plan to diversify its providers of telecommunications equipment, including a testing facility and investment in infrastructure for free radio standards. Huawei has only a couple of competitors, including Nokia of Finland and Ericsson of Sweden, creating worries that relying on too few firms to provide vital infrastructure leaves networks vulnerable to vulnerabilities.