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Huawei kit in Sure 5G trial

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SURE will continue to use Huawei equipment in its 5G trial but has pledged to remove it all by 2027 if Guernsey follows through with a similar ban to the UK.

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The UK’s mobile providers are being banned from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after 31 December and they must also remove all the Chinese firm’s 5G kit from their networks by 2027.

It follows sanctions imposed by the US, which claims the firm poses a national security threat – something Huawei denies.

The move is expected to delay the roll-out of 5G there by a year.

The UK ban does not affect the 4G network. Sure uses Huawei equipment in its 4G network.

‘If the decision is mirrored in the Bailiwick then Sure will cease using Huawei 5G equipment by 2027,’ a spokesman said.

‘It is still operating as part of our 5G trial. Throughout the trial we worked with the States of Guernsey, GCRA [Guernsey Competition & Regulatory Authority] and UK authorities to adhere to local, national and international policies and standards of application, safety and security and will continue to do so.’

Alistair Beak, chief business officer at Sure, was looking forward to continued working with the States on the telecoms strategy. He said Sure’s 5G trial has proved that the technology has the potential to deliver faster broadband speeds.

‘Sure’s decision on suppliers for 5G technology and the process for the issuing of 5G licences for local telecoms operators has yet to commence.

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‘We will continue to support the States on the digital aspect of its Revive and Thrive strategy. We work with the goal that every household in Guernsey will have access to the same level of broadband service, which could involve fibre to the home and other technologies, including 5G.

‘Furthermore, Sure has recently announced the start of a £3m. upgrade to our undersea fibre network as a foundation to this strategy, which adds to the 500km of fibre already deployed in Guernsey.’

Airtel-Vodafone head of technical Rohit Khullar said the decision from the UK government came as no surprise. ‘Airtel-Vodafone has always used Nokia as its core network infrastructure partner, and we are committed to using only tried, tested and trusted suppliers for any future technology roll-outs such as 5G, therefore the ban has no impact on us.’

He looked forward to working to support and finalise the States telecoms strategy. Economic Development will bring that to the States by the end of the year.

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann
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