The UK’s mobile providers are being banned from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after 31 December 2020, and they must also remove all the Chinese firm’s 5G kit from their networks by 2027.
With this development, Mr Dowden said the move would delay the country’s 5G rollout by a year.
“This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the UK telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run,” he said.
Because the US sanctions only affect future equipment, the government does not believe there is a security justification for removing 2G, 3G and 4G equipment supplied by Huawei.
The government wants operators to “transition away” from purchasing new Huawei equipment for use in the full-fibre network.
But other political considerations are also likely to have also come into play including the UK’s desire to strike a trade deal with the US, and growing tensions with China over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and its treatment of Hong Kong.