UK considers increasing state investments in domestic telecoms companies to compete on 5G

UK considers increasing state investments in domestic telecoms companies to compete on 5G

The British government has unveiled its plans to seek new entrants into the nation’s 5G telecommunications market since January.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been considering to increase state investments in domestic telecoms companies so that they can better compete on 5G.

The move is part of the cabinet’s plan to reduce the involvement of the Chinese telecom company Huawei in the country’s 5G network rollout.

The Times quoted unnamed sources as saying that the blueprint stipulates state funding for UK telecom firms including BT and Vodafone to support their push for developing rival 5G technology.

According to the sources that action would be “a longer-term ambition” given that Britain is generally considered to be behind its international partners in terms of 5G network development.

The remarks came a few days after the government announced its intention to seek new entrants into the country’s 5G telecommunications market since the beginning of the year.

“We set out in January that we were seeking new entrants into the market in order to diversify, and that is something we have been speaking with our allies about including the United States”, a government spokesperson said as quoted by Reuters on Friday.

Huawei Vice President Victor Zhang, said, “[Our] priority has been to help mobile and broadband companies keep Britain connected, which in this current health crisis has been more vital than ever. This is our proven track-record”, he underscored.

According to another source, “officials have been instructed to come up with a plan to reduce Huawei’s involvement as quickly as possible”.

The British government also confirmed in the past month its intention to scale down China’s involvement in UK infrastructure to zero by 2023.

Matteo Natalucci

Matteo Natalucci is a geopolitics expert working as an Editor in London covering all aspects of international affairs and technology. Matteo previously worked for the United Nations, the European Commission, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, IHS Markit, and Global Data. Get in touch with the author: matteo.natalucci@internationalinsider.org
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