The consultancy Assembly suggests a partial to full restriction on Huawei could result in an 18-to-24-month delay to the widespread availability of 5G in the UK. The UK would then fail to become a world leader in 5G – a key government target – costing the economy between £4.5bn and £6.8bn.
“If we had banned Huawei and everyone was just using Ericsson, we would have had a day without any mobile coverage on any network – not a good position to be in,” said Matthew Howett at Assembly.
“There is the whole debate about where the core and access network are delineated,” said Howett. “But the reality is that the operators are all using Huawei to an extent – they are quite happy with it. The government has huge ambitions for what 5G can deliver to the economy, and a bad decision based on politics could seriously stop that from being a reality.”