United Kingdom warned banning Huawei will delay 5G rollout and cost billions

11 Juillet, 2020, 12:24 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Image Nathan Laine  Bloomberg

Huawei vice president Victor Zhang told MPs that it was independent of any government and it would always follow United Kingdom law.

Johnson's government requested that the UK's National Cyber Security Centre conduct a review of the potential impact the sanctions would have on Huawei's operations in Britain.

Zhang also pointed to research that Huawei published earlier in the year, warning of the substantial financial costs of delays to the roll-out of the broadband infrastructure.

Huawei Vice President Victor Zhang said it would take months to establish the impact of US measures announced in May, which aim to cripple the firm's ability to source the advanced microchips needed to make its telecoms equipment.

Zhang said British officials should think carefully before making what he called a "critical long-term decision".

"This impact, I think, is not clear, because it takes time".

In a media call earlier today (July 8) Zhang told reporters it could take months before the implications against Huawei are known.

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Samsung, which provides some gear to Hutchison's Three UK, said it could "definitely" supply a new 5G network, and was in active commercial talks with European operators.

In a two hour session, facing tough questions from members of parliament about cybersecurity, reliability, and data concerns, Zhang added, "the initial solution is, with the short term, there is no impact on Huawei's supply capability to the UK's 5G and fiber solutions".

Asked about any influence on the company from China, Huawei UK vice president Jeremy Thompson said employees were free to express views, just like those of other companies in the UK.

"There's no issue for Huawei to continue to work with our customers like BT and Vodafone", Zhang said.

Andrea Dona, Vodafone UK head of network, urged that any further restrictions "look at a sensible and practically feasible timescale over several years", while she cautioned that it would cost "single figure billions" of pounds to remove the equipment.

Vodafone and BT need a minimum of five years and ideally seven to avoid major disruption to Britain's emerging superfast networks, their technology bosses told the lawmakers.

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