Huawei ban could cause cell phone failures, MEPs warn | Scientific and technological news

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There could be cell phone outages in the UK if the government forces phone companies to remove Huawei from their networks, they were told.

BT and Vodafone executives today warned parliament that if the government forced them to completely remove Huawei equipment from their networks, it would cost billions of pounds and cause customers to lose their phone signal for days .

Science and technology committee hearing follows reports that government order phasing out of Chinese company technology from UK networks due to security concerns.

The UK is re-evaluating his previous decision to allow Huawei equipment to play a limited role in the country’s 5G networks following new sanctions imposed by the US government.

“If the current guidelines were to be tightened and new restrictions imposed, we would have to spend around billions of dollars to change our current infrastructure,” said Andrea Dona, network manager for Vodafone UK.

Dona said a “five-year transition plan” would be the minimum the company could work to avoid this impact on customers.

BT technology and information manager Howard Watson said it was “logically impossible” to remove all Huawei equipment from company networks within three years.

“It would literally mean power outages for customers on 4G and 2G, as well as 5G, across the country when we had to integrate this. We would therefore certainly not recommend following this path. “



UK to cut Huawei from 5G network

In May, the United States announced an expansion restrictions on the business that would prevent the use of computer chips based on American designs in any of its equipment.

The deeply damaging measures threaten to cut Huawei’s supply of semiconductors used in its product lines, from radio base stations to servers and smartphones.

This could lead the company to start using “unreliable” replacement technologies in these products, increasing the risk that the technology poses for critical national infrastructure.

The National Cyber ​​Security Center of the United Kingdom, which said it was capable of managing the risks that the use of Chinese equipment could pose – as long as it was not used in the heart of the network and had less than 35% market share – is reassessing this position accordingly.

“If the current guidelines were to be tightened and new restrictions imposed, we would have to spend around billions of dollars to change our current infrastructure,” said Andrea Dona, network manager for Vodafone UK.

Dona said a “five-year transition plan” would be the minimum the company could work to avoid this impact on customers.

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NCSC reassessed risk posed by Huawei equipment

Earlier this week, in a phone call to Sky News, Huawei also stressed the need for time.

Company vice president Victor Zhang said it would take Huawei some time to understand the implications of the new restrictions and that he could not address concerns about the inclusion of “unreliable” technologies in own equipment.

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