UPDATE: Huawei has reached out to Android Headlines with an official statement on the ban, which we’ve included below.
UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden has now reportedly announced a ban on Huawei 5G networking equipment in the region. Mobile networks in the UK can no longer buy new 5G equipment, effective at the start of next year. That’s as of December 31.
Existing mobile networking technology isn’t safe from removal either. In fact, mobile networks currently relying on Huawei’s technology will need to remove it entirely by 2027.
The UK ban isn’t unexpected but doesn’t just hurt Huawei
The decision to remove Huawei from UK 5G networks has been a long time coming. The UK had initially decided to allow the world’s largest 5G equipment provider into the networks in January.
Subsequent sanctions from the US government forced many suppliers to turn away from Huawei. As a result, Huawei will be forced to either build out its own solutions or find third-party suppliers that aren’t necessarily trusted by the international community.
It’s on the basis of the latter possibility that the decision was made to ban Huawei in the UK 5G networks. Officials have effectively decided that there’s a high likelihood that Huawei will be forced to third-party OEMs for internal components.
It isn’t just Huawei who will feel the impact here
As noted above, Huawei was approved for the region earlier this year. And mobile providers have been utilizing that technology to begin building out networks. Only O2 doesn’t presently rely on Huawei. So most carriers are going to be forced to look elsewhere for 5G solutions.
Setting aside the fact that Huawei generally has supplied more reliable and affordable solutions, Mr. Dowden indicates there will be significant delays from this decision. The nation’s 5G networks could be delayed, the Digital Secretary indicates, by as much as two to three years.
Despite the sanctions that ultimately led to this ban, Huawei’s business has remained largely unaffected over the past several months. Its figures in terms of both revenue and sales have continued to rise. And it even managed to overtake Samsung in April and May.
The company faces further challenges as its current supply is exhausted and new partners are needed. But, for the time being, the UK ban will likely serve as only a small stumbling block to its continued growth.