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Digital Secretary unveils new plans to boost UK telecoms security ahead of US visit

Megan Robinson
December 8, 2021

The government has agreed with UK mobile network operators Vodafone, EE, Virgin Media O2 and Three that 2033 will be the date by which all public 2G and 3G networks in the UK will be switched off.

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries has announced new measures to increase the security of telecoms supply chains and to support an easy transition to faster mobile networks.

These measures include phasing out 2G and 3G networks in the UK by 2033 and putting £50mn into telecoms research and development projects ahead of her first US visit to meet with US secretary for Commerce Gina Raimondo.

The leaders will discuss future cooperation on telecoms, tech and data and renew their commitment to diversifying the global telecoms supply chain.

The measures follow the UK’s decision to ban Huawei equipment from 5G networks and forms part of the government’s £250mn strategy to create a more competitive and diverse supply chain for telecoms.

The announcement is a key step to providing nationwide security and reducing over-reliance on a few equipment makers. 

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “5G technology is already revolutionising people’s lives and businesses – connecting people across the UK with faster mobile data and making businesses more productive. 

“Today we are announcing a further £50 million to put the UK at the forefront of mobile connectivity and to make sure our telecoms networks are safe and secure now and in the future.”

Dorries will also meet with the director of the White House Office for science and tech policy Dr Eric Lander to strengthen the US-UK partnership and face issues such as online safety, data and digital competition. 

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