5G supply chain diversification strategy

5G supply chain diversification strategy

Government announced its £250m strategy setting out targeted plans to diversify the global telecoms supply market. It focuses on three key areas of activity:

  • Supporting incumbent suppliers to ensure their resilience and ability to supply the market in the near term, while supporting their transition into the emerging market structure;
  • attracting new suppliers into the UK market to build resilience and competition, prioritising deployments that are in line with government’s longer-term vision; and
  • accelerating open-interface solutions and deployment so that the UK is not reliant on any single vendor and begins to realise the long term vision for a more open and innovative market.

To start the process of diversification as soon as possible, government will take forward work to set out a clear roadmap for the long-term use and provision of 2G, 3G and 4G network services in the UK, which will include working with Ofcom to identify and address any spectrum-related barriers. Commercial incentives for mobile network operators to help offset increased costs of transitioning to and integrating new suppliers into their networks will also be considered. Government has already engaged with a range of suppliers including Samsung, Fujitsu and NEC who are keen to grow their global footprint in the telecoms supply chain.

The Telecoms Diversification Task Force is looking initially at designing and developing targeted measures across the three strands of the strategy and will also consider opportunities to establish UK capability across the wider 5G supply chain.

This comes as the Telecommunications (Security) Bill has its second parliamentary reading today. The bill imposes new legal duties on operators to increase the security of their UK networks and limit the damage of any breaches. It gives monitoring responsibilities to Ofcom and fining powers of up to 10% of turnover or £100k a day for failing to comply.

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