EE and Vodafone pull Huawei phones from UK 5G launch

2019-05-23 02:39:55 GMT2019-05-23 10:39:55(Beijing Time) Sina English

UK mobile carriers EE and Vodafone have dropped Huawei devices from their 5G launch over fears about the future of the Chinese tech giant.

The UK networks were due to carry the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G among their 5G plans for customers, but the recently announced US government ban has caused uncertainty over whether Huawei phones will still be able to function correctly without access to key US technology.

The biggest question remark remains over the smartphones' mobile operating system, which currently depends on Google's Android platform.

 Huawei has less than 90 days before its devices will no longer have access to new Android updates, after the Trump administration placed the firm on its Entity List of companies that US firms are restricted in dealing with.

The Chinese firm claims it is prepared for the consequences of the ban, though is yet to reveal which operating system its phones and tablets will use.

 Reports in China suggest Huawei is planning to launch its own operating system to rival Android later this year.

On Wednesday, EE announced plans to switch on its 5G service for UK customers on 30 May, making it the first UK network to deliver the next-generation technology to consumers.

The network had originally planned to include the 5G version of Huawei's flagship phone among the devices it offered to customers, but EE CEO Marc Allera said his firm had been forced to rethink this decision.

 "Until we get the information and confidence that gives us the long term surety that our customers, when they buy those devices, are going to be supported for the lifetime they've got the device with us, we've put those devices on pause," he said.

 "When that information changes we will move forward and hopefully launch with them but for now we've but that on pause."

Vodafone is planning to launch its own 5G service in July but a spokesperson said it was waiting to receive "the necessary certifications" before it included Huawei devices in its 5G offerings.

Agencies

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