Vodafone says the UK will fall behind in 5G if Huawei gear is banned
Vodafone has said that the UK’s adoption of 5G networks will suffer a big blow if Huawei gear is banned.
In a statement sent to Reuters, Scott Petty, Vodafone UK’s chief technology officer said: “The UK’s leadership in 5G will be lost if mobile operators are forced to spend time and money replacing existing equipment”
“We are not tied to one supplier, but it is important to understand the extent of what is at stake here” concluded Petty.
Despite the UK Government deciding back in January to allow network operators to keep limited amounts of Huawei hardware (or any hardware from “high risk vendors”) in their non-core networks – 35 percent – the UK Government is under increasing pressure from its own MPs to change its mind, prompting a fresh review.
And there’s also pressure from the US Government, who have a continuing vendetta against Huawei.
The problem with this – as you’ll no doubt know – is that Huawei gear is deep-rooted in many countries’ 3G and 4G mobile networks, so this isn’t just a 5G issue. Indeed, Huawei has recently been advertising its 20th anniversary as part of UK networks.
EE has already announced a delay to its ability to remove Huawei gear from its core network and doesn’t now expect to do so until the Government deadline of the end of 2022. This is an expensive undertaking.
Like other UK networks, Vodafone is working to bring in more hardware from other vendors apart from Huawei. Vodafone is working with Ericsson in this regard.