£6.8 billion potential risk to UK economy if Huawei’s use restricted for 5G roll-out

According to an independent report produced by Assembly and commissioned by Mobile UK, a restriction placed on Huawei in the telecoms supply chain could delay a full 5G launch by between 18 and 24 months and cost the UK economy between £4.5 billion and £6.8 billion.

The new analysis, which is based on the Government’s own projections and compiled with the co-operation of UK mobile operators, found that a delay to the 5G roll-out while operators make alternative procurement arrangements with other suppliers may seriously threaten the UK’s aspiration to be a world leader in 5G (something that has been central to the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy since 2016).

The importance of early 5G leadership to realise the economic benefits of the technology cannot be understated. If any restriction were to be imposed on Huawei, many of the benefits associated with 5G leadership could be lost for good, not simply delayed as a result. These include significant productivity gains that stand to benefit the UK’s global economic standing.

Competition in the supply chain has so far been good for technological progress and has meant that the UK has benefited from cost-effective roll-out and strong mobile coverage.

The research shows that, across a number of industries which are expected to take advantage of 5G connectivity, new sources of growth and innovation may be delayed with further consequences for consumers and a damaging effect on UK businesses.

Assembly is an independent analyst firm providing subscription-based information, analysis and commentary on regulatory, policy and legislative developments that affect communications markets and the wider digital economy.

*A copy of the full Assembly report can be downloaded here

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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