For some time, mobile operators have been briefing reporters in private that a complete ban on using Huawei equipment would be seriously damaging to the UK’s 5G future.
But on Thursday morning, Vodafone came out with a stark warning in public: stop us from using Huawei gear and 5G will be delayed, at huge cost to us and the UK.
The government’s Supply Chain Review is currently examining whether the controversial Chinese company should play a part in the rollout of super-fast 5G, amid security concerns and US pressure for a complete ban.
But Vodafone’s chief technology officer, Scott Petty, has now said a ban would require his company to strip Huawei equipment out of its existing 4G network.
“The cost of doing that runs into the hundreds of millions and will dramatically affect our 5G business case,” he said.
“We would have to slow down the deployment of 5G very significantly.”