Livingston told to diversify UK’s telecom supply chain

Former BT  CEO Lord Ian Livingston has been appointed as a chair of a task force into diversifying the UK’s telecom supply chain.

The big idea is connected to the decision to ban the use of new Huawei 5G equipment from the end of this year. The government is worried that UK telecoms network is too exposed to ‘high-risk vendors’.

The government is expected to publish its Telecoms Diversification Strategy later this year to end the practice of mobile companies being limited to using just three major suppliers in their telecom networks.

The Telecoms Security Bill is also in the pipeline to give the government the ability to control the presence of high risk equipment vendors, and at the same time for Ofcom to drive up security standards.

“The UK is already a leading nation in the adoption and use of digital communications. It is vital that we position ourselves for the next generation of technology, particularly 5G, by having a wide choice of secure, innovative and high-quality suppliers”, said Livingston.

“I look forward to chairing this team of experts from industry and academia who can provide advice to government as to how it can best achieve these aims”, he added.

The team includes Clive Selley, CEO, Openreach and Scott Petty, CTO, Vodafone UK, amongst others from business and higher education.

Don’t mention Huawei.