Huawei’s equipment from their networks suddenly
There could be mobile phone blackouts across the UK if the government forces phone companies to strip Huawei out of their networks, MPs have been told.
BT and Vodafone executives today warned parliament that if the government forced them to completely remove Huawei’s equipment from their networks suddenly, it would cost billions of pounds and lead to customers losing phone signal for several days.
The science and technology committee hearing follows reports that the government is set to order the phasing out of the Chinese company’s technology from the UK’s networks due to security concerns.
The UK is reassessing its previous decision to allow Huawei equipment a limited role within the country’s 5G networks following new sanctions imposed by the US government.
“If the current guidance were to be tightened and further restrictions were to be imposed, we would need to spend in the order of billions to change our current infrastructure,” said Andrea Dona, the head of networks for Vodafone UK.
Mr Dona said that a “five-year transition plan” would be the minimum that the company could work with to avoid this impact on customBT’s chief technology and information officer, Howard Watson said it was “logically impossible” to remove all of the Huawei equipment from the company’s networks within a three year period.”That would literally mean blackouts for customers on 4G and 2G, as well as 5G, throughout the country as we were to build that in. So we would definitely not recommend that we go down that route.”