November 30, 2020

Mobile UK Welcomes New 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy

Today’s announcement by the Government to commit £250 million, through its 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy, comes on the back of concerns that the decision to remove high-risk vendors from the supply chain would create an over-reliance on a small group of vendors, limiting competition and innovation.

The new strategy sets out a medium to long-term plan to promote more open networks, diversification and resilience in the telecoms supply chain, while also providing an opportunity for the Government to back British companies in emerging fields such as Open RAN technology, which will sustain and nurture UK talent and businesses.

Today, MPs will also debate the Second Reading of the Telecoms Security Bill. The two events are very closely linked.

The Diversification Strategy makes clear that several years will be needed to replace the hole left by designated high risk vendors, confirming the rationale for sticking to the 2027 timetable. Not only would a forcible acceleration cause needless disruption to operators and their customers, it would also completely frustrate the objectives the strategy; that is to build a stronger UK based ecosystem and supply chain and to give mobile operators the chance to use new vendors as soon as they are commercially ready.

The Diversification Strategy is a very positive development for the sector and the wider UK economy. It will attract high-skilled jobs and investment but it must be given time to bear fruit.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy, Hamish MacLeod, Director of Mobile UK, said:

“Mobile UK welcomes the Government’s commitment, backed with an initial £250m, to promote diversification and resilience in the telecoms supply chain. This will nurture UK talent, foster innovation and competition and deliver more jobs and investment across the economy. “

Notes to Editors

  1. Mobile UK is the trade association for the UK’s mobile network operators - EE, O2,Three and Vodafone.
  2. This Government’s press release announcing its strategy can be viewed on the DCMS website here.

About Building Mobile Britain

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Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076

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