LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) - BT, Britain's biggest
mobile and broadband company, said it estimated that a ban on
Huawei's equipment in its 5G networks would cost it no more than
the 500 million pounds ($630 million)it had earmarked to comply
with a cap imposed earlier this year.
Telecom operators cannot buy any new 5G equipment from the
Chinese company after the end of this year and all of its 5G
gear has to be stripped out of networks by the end of 2027 under
the measures announced on Tuesday.
Chief Executive Philip Jansen said the decision clearly had
logistical and cost implications for BT.
"However, we believe the timescales outlined will allow us
to make these changes without impacting on the coverage or
resilience of our existing networks," he said.
"It will also allow us to continue to roll out our 5G and
full fibre networks without a significant impact on the
timescales we've previously announced."
BT was already working to remove Huawei's equipment from its
EE mobile network to comply with a ban on its use in the most
sensitive parts and a 35% cap on its overall use, at a cost of
about 500 million pounds.
Jansen added that BT would continue to evaluate the details
of Tuesday's decision.
Vodafone, which also uses Huawei in its UK 5G
network, acknowledged the government had understood the issue's
complexity and sought to minimise disruption to consumers,
businesses and public services through an adequate timeframe for
"Obviously we are disappointed because this decision as
the government has highlighted today will add delay to the
roll out of 5G in the UK and will result in additional costs for
the industry," a spokesman said.
($1 = 0.7968 pounds)
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Catherine Evans and