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UK: Britain announces new tie-up with Japan firm after banning China's Huawei

News Agencies | Updated on: 30 November 2020, 19:42 IST

The UK government on Monday announced a new partnership with Japanese telecom firm NEC for 5G network after imposing a ban on the Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

The British operators "must stop installing any Huawei equipment" from September next year, an earlier date than expected, the South China Morning Post quoted Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden as saying.

"Today I am setting out a clear path for the complete removal of high-risk vendors from our 5G networks," Dowden said.

"This will be done through new and unprecedented powers to identify and ban telecom equipment which poses a threat to our national security. We are also publishing a new strategy to make sure we are never again dependent on a handful of telecoms vendors for the smooth and secure running of our networks," he added.

NEC is expected to deliver a live 5G open radio access network (RAN). It is a new way of building telecom networks where components from different suppliers can be used in a single mobile network, within the UK in 2021.

The decision is part of Downing Street's road map for the complete removal of high-risk vendor equipment from the UK's 5G networks, alongside a new 250 million pound (USD 333 million) strategy to diversify the telecom market with plans for a National Telecoms Lab and trials with NEC, the SCMP reported.

Under the British government's 5G plan, domestic phone companies will not be able to buy any new Huawei products after the end of this year. All existing equipment made by the Shenzhen-based company will be removed from the 5G infrastructure by 2027.

Next year, the UK will hold the presidency of the Group of Seven nations, a platform it has hopes will expand to include South Korea, India, and Australia. It has identified 5G technology as a promising field for collaboration between the 10 democracies, or D10, South China Morning Post further reported.

The British government decided to ban Huawei in July amid heightened tension with Beijing over the issue of Hong Kong and pressure from Washington, which views the firm as a security risk.


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First published: 30 November 2020, 19:42 IST