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Ericsson to Replace Huawei Tech in UK’s 5G Network


Major UK cities, including Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, and London, will now have 5G equipment supplied by Ericsson.

Around half of BT’s 5G traffic will be handled by the Swedish firm’s equipment, along with its main brand EE. Nokia has already been announced as an additional partner on the project.

Howard Watson, BT's chief technology and information officer, said: "In the nine months since the initial decision, we've signed significant new deals with two of the world's leading equipment vendors, Nokia and Ericsson, that will enable us not only to meet our commitments to the UK government, but to continue building out our award-winning 5G network across the UK and to consolidate our leading position in mobile.

"Two deals may not sound like a lot, but the scale and complexities involved mean that getting these agreed in just nine months is a real testament to the hard work of hundreds of people across the business.”

President and chief executive of Ericsson, Borje Ekholm, said: "BT has a clear direction in how it wants to drive its 5G ambitions in the UK and we are delighted to be their partner in delivering that.

"Having already been selected to partner in 5G Core, we are pleased to strengthen the relationship further with this deal that will deliver high performance and secure 5G to their customers across the UK's major cities.”

Chinese firm Huawei was banned from being involved in the network back in July as a result of toughened sanctions by the US. The sanctions prevent companies from providing Huawei with computer chips.

Companies in the telecoms sector in the UK were notified that Huawei equipment had to be removed from their 5G networks by 2027. They were also banned from purchasing new 5G infrastructure from the Chinese firm by the end of 2020.

It was initially thought that banning Huawei would increase costs by up to £2bn and cause a three year delay in the rollout of 5G in the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson accepted that the sanctions by the US on the Chinese firm were a ‘game changer’ but acted on the advice of the National Cyber Security Centre.

The government had previously permitted Huawei to have a role in the development of the UK’s 5G infrastructure.

However, there have been concerns that the equipment could be used by the Chinese government for espionage purposes - something that Huawei has repeatedly denied.

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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