Boris Johnson's executive launches a new missive against China. Relations between London and Beijing are increasingly tense and if there is one symbol in this battle it is Huawei. The Digital, Culture and Sports Secretary of Boris Johnson's administration, Oliver Dowden, has presented a roadmap to remove "high-risk sellers" in view of the introduction of a telecommunications security law.
Under this security act, UK operators will not be able to install a new Huawei 5G kit after September 2021. The UK Government thus intends to promote supplier diversity in the global 5G telecoms market in order to improve the speed of connections.
Dowden has also indicated that they plan to remove all Huawei equipment from 5G networks by 2027. This is very much in line with Trump's position to avoid at all costs Chinese interference in their country. In particular by preventing him from controlling such essential elements as telecommunications.
This will make the telecoms operators largely dependent on Nokia and Ericsson, Nordic companies that have already won major contracts following the ban on Huawei.
As part of this diversification strategy, the government plans to spend £250 million to start creating a more diverse, competitive and innovative telecommunications supply market.
Oliver Dowden, said that many countries "have become highly dependent on a few telecoms providers in their race to offer 5G. This is jeopardising the resilience and security of their communications networks".
The government says the strategy has three pillars: supporting the established providers, who make up a significant part of the country's market; attracting new providers to the UK market; and accelerating open interface technologies such as Open RAN.
Huawei, for his part, regrets that his future in the UK has been "politicised" and that it has been based on a question of US trade policy rather than security as indicated by Johnson's executive.
The telephone brand has acknowledged that "this disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone. It threatens to drive Britain into a digital slowdown, increase bills and deepen the digital divide".
He also said he would continue to support his customers and undertake "a detailed review" of what this announcement means for his business. He also intends to work with the UK Government to explain how they can continue to contribute to the country's connectivity.