BT has said a decision to remove Huawei from the UK’s 5G network would at least ten years to implement.
BT’s chief executive Philip Jansen told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “if you were to try and not have Huawei at all [in 5G] ideally we’d want seven years and we could probably do it in five.
“If you wanted to have no Huawei in the whole of the telecoms infrastructure across the whole of the UK, I think that’s impossible to do in under 10 years.”
Jensen also said that outages were possible if pushed too quickly to remove all the equipment.
Following China’s actions regarding Hong Kong which the government had deeming a breach of the “one country two systems” deal signed by both the UK and Chinese governments, there has been an increase in the campaign to remove Huawei from the 5G network in the UK.
Several prominent Conservative Party MP’s led by Ian Duncan Smith, have been pushing against Huawei’s involvement on national security grounds.
There were also concerns following US sanctions on the firm which stopped Huawei from using chips made in the US. This means that Huawei would have to make its own chips. Because of this, there have been concerns surrounding the vetting of their products.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told the BBC: “We want to race ahead and have the best form of internet connectivity.
“But, at the same time, national security comes first and I know the NSC and the whole of government will be placing a huge priority on our national security.”
The Government is expected to announce that the company will not be able to install any further technology past 2021 and all technology will be removed by potentially 2025.
There is expected to be a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday attended by Boris Johnson at which a final decision on Huawei’s future in the 5G network will be taken. More announcements will be expected following the meeting on Tuesday.