UK officials are reportedly considering a cap on the amount of Huawei equipment each operator is allowed to deploy within their networks, as part of a review of the country’s telecommunications policy.
The Telegraph reported a proposal from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport could place a restriction of 50 per cent on operator use of Huawei equipment, although it is not clear in which segment of the network the cap would apply, or how it would be calculated.
Details on the potential policy are sketchy. However, if adopted the guidelines look to fall well short of the full ban some countries, most prominently the US, advocate.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre was previously reported to believe a ban on the vendor’s equipment was unwarranted.
It is unclear how much a 50 per cent limit would impact the UK’s four mobile operators. Last week at MWC19, Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read stated the company already used a number of different vendors in its UK network and has frequently called for a “more grounded discussion” on the security issue.
However, Vodafone has also paused installation of Huawei equipment into its core networks in Europe and previously confirmed it does not use the vendor’s equipment in its core UK network.
O2 UK and 3 UK also do not use Huawei core network kit, while BT-owned EE is in the process of removing the vendor’s equipment from its 4G core network.
The news comes as Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins played down fears of Huawei dominance in 5G as “overblown” during an interview with Bloomberg.
Robbins added, as with previous generations, he expected mobile operators to use a mixture of equipment from a range of vendors from across the globe in the 5G era.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back