Vodafone and BT Need Five Years Minimum to Remove Huawei

Joanna Estrada
July 10, 2020

"What we can see is that Huawei is a great contributor to the United Kingdom and based on the Oxford Economics report a year ago, Huawei contributed to the UK's GDP with £1.7 billion ($2.1 billion) in 2018, and we created direct and indirect job opportunities, (in total) 26,000 job opportunities", Zhang said.

Mr Zhang also urged the Government to give Huawei time to understand the implication of U.S. sanctions before choosing to ban the company from digital infrastructure.

But recent USA sanctions on Huawei have prompted London to review that decision over fears the company will not be able to source some parts from United States suppliers.

"We urge a cautious and evidence-based approach to this critical long-term decision", Zhang said during a media call.

Johnson permitted Huawei a limited role in January, capped at 35 per cent.

Washington has also enforced a series of trade restrictions meant to weaken Huawei's position as a global leader in 5G technology, the latest of which was announced in May. The sanctions, which go into effect in September, stipulate that foreign manufacturers that use U.S. hardware must obtain a license before supplying Huawei.

Britain's rebound from COVID-19 could be harmed if the government demands a speedy removal of telecoms equipment made by China's Huawei [HWT.UL] from mobile networks, Vodafone and BT warned on Thursday.

"We have already submitted our initial assessment to our customers and to the NCSC and the initial solution is that in the short term there is Huawei's capability to supply to the UK's 5G and fibre solution, and we have already prepared for the next five years to make sure the UK's existing network will not be impacted by the sanctions", he said.

In a different session of the same hearing, Telecom companies Vodafone and BT also spoke of the high cost of removing Huawei. It is important to wait until all the facts are known. "We need to talk about the long term impact, it takes time, it takes months".

The US's tough stance on Huawei has been incredibly heavy-handed on the Chinese tech firm, with numerous security issues lodged by that government proving unfounded so far.

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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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