The UK says it needs to protect Nokia of Finland and Ericsson of Sweden after the government banned the use of Huawei's equipment in 5g networks in the UK, according to a report from Bloomberg.British culture secretary Oliver Dowden told government lawmakers on Wednesday that excluding Huawei means the number of key telecom suppliers in the UK will be reduced from three to just two, so the UK can't let any of them disappear.
"The biggest direct risk of diversification will be the loss of another supplier, so this is very prominent in our consideration and discussion." Oliver Dowden told officials at the Committee on science and technology. This involves "looking at the underlying capital position of these companies and seeing if further action is needed to address this.".
Oliver Dowden said the prime minister would set up a task force led by senior industry executives to "vigorously promote" Telecom diversification. Government officials are considering a candidate for the post.
According to Oliver Dowden, the UK's diversification strategy includes introducing new market participants for next-generation wireless communications and promoting projects for different companies to work together. Further details of the move will be announced in September, when the government will also introduce a telecommunications security bill to tighten standards and incorporate Huawei's ban into law, he told government officials.
Oliver Dowden said diversifying with open Ran is a longer-term goal and will be five years away from the first major deployment of the technology.