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Embracing diversity in the telecommunications sector

The UK government has announced that telecom providers will need to stop installing Huawei equipment in the UK’s 5G networks from next September.

Huawei is to be banned from the most sensitive core parts of UK networks and there are plans to rip out all Huawei equipment from 5G networks by 2027.

The government has also published a 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy, outlining how it will ensure the UK is, “never again dependent on a handful of telecoms vendors”.

The diversification strategy will see the government spend an initial £250m to begin work on creating a more diverse, competitive and innovative supply market for telecoms and the establishment of a National Telecoms Lab research facility, as well as investment in innovative open radio technology.

Also, the communications regulator Ofcom is to be tasked with the monitoring and assessing of security protocols among telecoms providers.

The news that the government is looking to strengthen supply chains should be welcomed. There has certainly been a lack of vendor diversity within the telecoms industry. So a more competitive market, combined with more open standards, should help to provide greater opportunities for new entrants.

Neil Tyler

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