Insights Telecoms Diversification Taskforce publishes final report

The Telecoms Diversification Taskforce was set up by the Government in August 2020 to provide independent advice on how to boost competition and innovation in the UK telecoms market and build an open, sustainable and diverse supply chain.

It follows the Government’s decision to remove Huawei equipment from UK 5G networks by 2027. While necessary to protect national security, it means the UK will be reliant on only two other 5G equipment suppliers: Nokia and Ericsson.

The Government says that the taskforce’s report will support it as it delivers its £250 million Diversification Strategy, mitigating the resilience risks to 5G networks ahead of the 2027 deadline so people can have confidence accessing the economic and social benefits brought by 5G. It recommends:

  • working through telecoms standards-setting bodies to encourage best practice in security and open networks;
  • creating the right environment for diversification through policy interventions, for example, setting out a timetable for the winding down of 2G and 3G networks to support the entry of new vendors into the UK market;
  • identifying interventions and investment to accelerate the development and adoption of Open Radio Access Network technology, including setting up a fund for developing new products and ensuring testing facilities such as the UK Telecoms Lab and SONIC meet industry needs; and
  • identifying opportunities to invest in long-term research and innovation to build UK capability for current and future generations of telecoms technology.

Now the taskforce has completed its work, the Government says that it will study the findings and respond fully in due course. To access the full report, click here.