According to a recent report, the U.K. stated that it needs to protect Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson. This is coming after the government banned the use of Huawei equipment in the British 5G network. The British Minister of Culture, Oliver Dowden, told government members on Wednesday that the exclusion of Huawei means that the number of key telecommunications providers in the UK will be reduced from three to only two. This means that the U.K. cannot let any of them disappear.
“The biggest direct risk facing diversification will be the loss of another supplier. So, this is very prominent in our considerations and discussions.” Oliver Dowden told officials of the Science and Technology Committee. This involves “paying attention to the basic capital status of these companies. We will also see if there is a need for further measures to address this.”
The announcement by the British government last week says that all operators must remove Huawei’s 5G equipment from their networks by the end of 2027. It also said that U.S. sanctions would make it impossible to guarantee the sustainability or safety of the equipment. The ban overturns the British government’s decision in January. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had earlier announced that it would allow Huawei to participate in 5G network. However, Huawei’s participation will have a limit. Nevertheless, that is not the case anymore.
The absence of Huawei reduces the competition
Oliver Dowden stated that the British Prime Minister will set up a task force led by senior industry executives. The duty of this task force is to “vigorously promote” telecommunications diversification. Government officials are considering candidates for this post.
He also said that the UK’s diversification strategy includes introducing new market participants for the next generation of wireless communications. It will also promote projects that work together with products from different companies. He told government officials that further details on this approach will be announced in September when the government will also introduce a telecommunications security bill to tighten standards and write the Huawei ban into the law.
“The reality is that Samsung or NEC are the best candidates to enter the UK market, although there are huge challenges in this regard.” This to a certain extent implies that Samsung lacks support for older 2G and 3G systems. Oliver Dowden said that the adoption of Open RAN to achieve diversified development is a longer-term goal, and it will take 5 years before the first major deployment of the technology.