LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. sanctions aimed at restricting Huawei’s ability to supply advanced microchips for 5G equipment are likely to have an impact on the company’s viability as a supplier in the UK, said the country’s media secretary Oliver Dowden .
The UK granted Huawei a limited role in its future 5G networks in January, but officials at the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) are studying the impact of the measures announced by the U.S. in May.
“Since mid-May, we have had U.S. sanctions on Huawei … it is likely to have an impact on Huawei’s viability as a 5G network provider,” Dowden told a parliamentary committee.
Mobile operators BT, Vodafone and Three use Huawei equipment on their networks. BT said that a government decision in January to limit Huawei’s involvement in 5G will cost £ 500 million.
Dowden said on Tuesday that the overall impact of the previous restrictions was approximately £ 1.5 billion and a one-year delay in the rollout of the new 5G networks.
“Clearly, if we impose more restrictions, there will be a cost associated with that,” he said.
He said he would like more competition in the market besides Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia.
“Both Samsung and NEC are obvious suppliers that we would like to see enter the UK market,” he said.
Dowden said he is also looking for financial incentives to encourage operators to adopt the emerging Open RAN technology, which aims to reduce dependence on any supplier.
(By Paul Sandle and Jack Stubbs)
((Translation São Paulo Translation; 55 11 56447727))
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