The Government has asked Vodafone and other mobile operators to remove Huawei kit from our 5G networks by 2027, and to stop buying any new Huawei 5G kit from the end of this year. So what does this mean for customers?
We answer some of the questions you might have.
Q. Will my 5G service come to an end?
A. No. We will gradually replace Huawei 5G equipment with that from other suppliers over the next seven years.
Q. If I don’t have 5G in my area, does this mean I won’t ever get it now?
A. No it doesn’t meant that, but unfortunately, as the Government acknowledged, 5G roll-out plans will be delayed because of this decision. We will try to minimise that delay wherever possible.
To find out more about the progress of 5G roll-out in your area go to our Network Status Tracker and sign up for ‘My alerts’.
Q. What if I have a Huawei phone or other Huawei device?
A. It’s really important to understand that this decision by the Government affects networks only and doesn’t refer to phones or other devices. So your Huawei phone or Gigacube will continue working just as well as it did before.
Q. Will this affect the quality of my mobile service?
A. The Government has given us until 2027 to remove all 5G Huawei kit from our networks and we’ll be working very closely with them to ensure any disruption to customers’ service is minimal. But there may well be some short interruptions to your service during the installation of replacement equipment.
To receive alerts about any upcoming engineering work in your area, click through to our Network Status Tracker.
Q. Will this affect my home broadband service?
A. Not necessarily. The Government wants to consult with full-fibre broadband operators first about alternatives to Huawei, given that there is currently only one: Nokia. Once we know the implications of that consultation, we’ll let you know.
Q. Is it worth buying a Huawei phone now?
A.The UK Government’s decision has no impact on Huawei phones or other devices – your device will continue to work just as it always has. We are currently ranging Huawei handsets that have access to Google Mobile Services, which will continue to work normally, and are unaffected by US restrictions imposed in May 2019. Devices released after May 2019, such as the P40 Series, run on Android with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), instead of Google Mobile Services (GMS). This means that Google applications such as Google Play, Google Maps and YouTube will not be available. More information on using a HMS devices can be found here.
Q. How much Huawei equipment do you have?
A. Unlike some other UK mobile network operators, we have no Huawei equipment in our core network – this is the most sensitive part of the network, which handles such activities as billing, customer location details, as well as fraud prevention. The Huawei kit we use is mostly in our base stations (masts and antennas) and we have multiple layers of security and encryption between them and our core network.
Q. As a business customer, what does this mean for me?
A. All the answers we’ve given above apply equally to our business customers. We remain committed to 5G roll-out and will do everything in our power to ensure that disruption to your services is as minimal as possible while we make these changes to our network.