The U.K. recently banned Huawei from participating in its 5G construction. After December 31st, 2020, British carriers can no longer purchase Huawei’s equipment. Furthermore, by December 31st, 2027, all pre-existing Huawei equipment will be removed. British carriers have seven years to eliminate Huawei’s equipment. The question now is “at what cost”?
According to British media reports, going to Huawei to retract its equipment will be a lengthy negotiation process. This will also require long-term planning and strategy. Furthermore, the analysis believes that it may cost the U.K. up to £1 billion to completely eliminate Huawei.
It is a bit tedious for some British carriers to eliminate Huawei’s 5G equipment. Recall that some of the operators only installed these pieces of equipment five months ago. It’s a huge turn which comes at a great cost for many operators.
After the release of the US ban, there have been huge changes for UK and UK mobile phone operators. In the past year, apart from O2, all British operators have a cooperation with Huawei to jointly build 5G.
The analysis believes that to get rid of Huawei equipment will need at least one billion pounds of capital. This is not a matter of turning to other suppliers like Ericsson and Nokia. You can not just buy these things overnight and get them running in a week. This is a lengthy procurement negotiation that may take one to two years to complete. It takes time to plan to replace the original equipment and close the line.
In response to the decision to ban the United Kingdom, Huawei UK spokesman, Edward Brewster, responded in a statement recently. He said that the decision is disappointing and bad news for all mobile phone users in the UK.
Here is the full statement from Huawei on the U.K ban
This disappointing decision is 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. We remain confident that the new US restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply to the UK.
Regrettably, our future in the UK has become politicized, this is about US trade policy and not security. Over the past 20 years, Huawei has focused on building a better connected UK. As a responsible business, we will continue to support our customers as we have always done.
We will conduct a detailed review of what today’s announcement means for our business here and will work with the UK government to explain how we can continue to contribute to a better connected Britain