Briefing: Vodafone launches 5G in UK with ‘non-core’ Huawei gear

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Vodafone stays with Huawei for 5G launch – China Daily

What happened: UK mobile operator Vodafone switched on its 5G network in several cities across the country on Wednesday, using Huawei equipment in non-core parts of its network infrastructure for the rollout. Both Vodafone and its UK rival EE have launched their 5G networks which use Huawei gear on peripheral parts. Vodafone is launching the 5G service with Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and Samsung S10 5G handsets and a 5G router, but the carrier has pulled 5G handsets made by Huawei from its launch line-up because of uncertainty about support by Google’s Android.

Why it’s important: UK Prime Minister Theresa May allowed Huawei limited access to the country’s 5G network rollouts, saying that Huawei will be considered as a supplier for some “non-core” parts of the 5G mobile infrastructure like antennas. But uncertainty remains as the UK government is considering a full ban on Huawei that would require removal of the company’s equipment from existing base stations. Vodafone chief technical officer Scott Petty told ZDNet on Wednesday that it would cost up to $88 million to replace Huawei gear from the carrier’s existing network.