The UK's New Regulations on Huawei Will Cost BT £500 Million

By Shabana Arif on at

While the UK has essentially told the US to stuff its threats about it using Huawei up its butt, it's still imposed measures to keep its 5G network secure and that's going to cost companies like BT.

The decision on Huawei's involvement in our 5G infrastructure was made this week although it's already receiving opposition from within the Conservative Party, but that's a different story. While the US' heavy-handed attempts to get the Chinese company banned from dealing with the UK outright on the basis of security have failed, the government is still taking precautions, just in case.

There are a number of limitations being placed on "high risk" vendors that include a 35 per cent market share cap, and he exclusion from all critical and safety-related network infrastructure, and sensitive locations like military bases. This way there won't be an over-reliance on their equipment, and our own country's companies can perhaps get off their arses and come up with their own alternatives.

Rejigging the existing infrastructure to comply with the new regulation isn't going to come without a cost, and for BT, the price tag is £500 million. Talking about the outcome of the Huawei debacle, CEO Philip Jansen said:

"The security of our network is paramount for BT. We therefore welcome and are supportive of the clarity provided by Government around the use of certain vendors in networks across the UK and agree that the priority should be the security of the UK’s communications infrastructure.

"We are in the process of reviewing the guidance in detail to determine the full impact on our plans and at this time estimate an impact of around £500 million over the next 5 years."

Everyone is going to have to review their current setup and follow BT's lead. In fact, the company announced that it would be removing Huawei equipment from the core of its 3G and 4G networks when it took over EE, and in 2018, said Huawei hadn't been included as a vendor for its 5G core, but remained "an important equipment provider outside the core network, and a valued innovation partner." [TechRadar]