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UK telecommunications infrastructure and the UK’s domestic capability

Inquiry

The next generation of mobile telecommunications (known as ‘5G’) promises faster download speeds, more reliable connections and technical abilities that enable new systems such as autonomous vehicles or connected health devices.

In January 2020, the Government announced that it would allow Huawei and other “high risk vendors” to supply “non-sensitive” elements of the UK’s 5G telecommunications networks, despite security concerns.

The issue highlighted the UK’s lack of domestic capability to supply these networks. In rejecting US calls for a complete ban on Huawei equipment, the Prime Minister acknowledged that a lack of alternatives to high-risk vendors influenced the decision.

In a statement to the House of Commons in February, the Foreign Secretary stated that there were only three major players (previously identified by a previous Government as Nokia, Huawei, and Ericsson) who could supply key parts of the UK telecoms networks, and acknowledged this was a “market failure” which had implications for the “security and resilience” of UK networks.

Responding to concerns raised by Members of Parliament last month, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told the House of Commons that the Government is not yet in a position “to set out a specific date or timetable for reaching no high-risk vendors” but that the Government would work with the “Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, US and UK) and other partners” to develop new supply chain capacity in our national infrastructure during the course of the Parliament.

In this context, the Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry to understand how telecommunications capacity can be built in the UK.

Read the call for evidence for more information about this inquiry.

Reports, special reports and government responses

View all reports and responses
Second Report: 5G market diversification and wider lessons for critical and emerging technologies
Inquiry UK telecommunications infrastructure and the UK’s domestic capability
Committees Science and Technology Committee
HC 450
Report
Response to this report
Fifth Special Report - 5G market diversification and wider lessons for critical and emerging technologies: Government Response to the Committee’s Second Report of 2019-21
HC 1377
Special Report
Fifth Special Report - 5G market diversification and wider lessons for critical and emerging technologies: Government Response to the Committee’s Second Report of 2019-21
Inquiry UK telecommunications infrastructure and the UK’s domestic capability
Committees Science and Technology Committee
HC 1377
Special Report

Oral evidence transcripts

View all oral evidence transcripts
22 July 2020
Inquiry UK telecommunications infrastructure and the UK’s domestic capability
Witnesses Amy Karam (Global Strategist and Fellow at Canadian Global Affairs Institute), Dr Dritan Kaleshi (Head of Technology (5G) at Digital Catapult), and Oliver Dowden (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Committees Science and Technology Committee
Oral Evidence
28 October 2020
Inquiry UK telecommunications infrastructure and the UK’s domestic capability
Witnesses Lord Livingston of Parkhead (Chair at Telecoms Diversification Taskforce), Scott Bailey (Deputy Director of the Diversification Unit at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), Tareq Amin (Chief Technology Officer at Rakuten Mobile), Dr Tobias Feakin (Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology at Australian Government), Dr Ian Levy (Technical Director at National Cyber Security Centre), and Dr Yih-Choung Teh (Group Director for Strategy and Research at Ofcom)
Committees Science and Technology Committee
Oral Evidence
30 September 2020
Inquiry UK telecommunications infrastructure and the UK’s domestic capability
Witnesses Ciaran Martin (Professor at University of Oxford), Dr Mike Short (Chief Scientific Adviser at Department for International Trade), Marcus Weldon (President at Bell Labs), Kip Meek (Director at Communications Chambers and the Wireless Infrastructure Group), and Diane Rinaldo (Executive Director at Open RAN Policy Coalition)
Committees Science and Technology Committee
Oral Evidence
UKT0038 - UK telecommunications infrastructure and the UK’s domestic capability
Witnesses Mavenir
Committees Science and Technology Committee
Written Evidence
UKT0037 - UK telecommunications infrastructure and the UK’s domestic capability
Witnesses Digital Catapult
Committees Science and Technology Committee
Written Evidence
UKT0036 - UK telecommunications infrastructure and the UK’s domestic capability
Witnesses Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Committees Science and Technology Committee
Written Evidence

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  • Email: scitechcom@parliament.uk
  • Phone: 020 7219 2793 (General enquiries) / 020 7219 3172 (Media enquiries) / 18001 20 7219 2793 (text relay)
  • Address: Science and Technology Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA