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BT to purge Huawei from 4G

by on05 December 2018


Fears of spooks

Britain’s BT Group will remove Huawei Technologies equipment from its core 4G network within two years, the Financial Times claims.

The move by BT will bring its mobile phone business in line with an interna government l policy to keep the Chinese company's equipment at the edge of telecoms infrastructure.

BT has also excluded Huawei from bidding for contracts to supply equipment for use in its core 5G network, it said.

The company will continue to use Huawei’s kit in what it considers to be benign parts of the network, such as equipment on masts, the FT said.

The US government was trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in allied countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from Huawei. Later, New Zealand rejected Huawei’s first 5G bid citing national security risk.

Australia banned Huawei from supplying 5G equipment, also citing security risks. Huawei has always denied that it was a sock puppet for Chinese spooks.

BT and other UK telecoms providers have largely kept Huawei equipment out of the “control plane” or core, of their networks, but it was one of the first companies outside of China to use Huawei equipment when it signed a landmark deal with the equipment supplier in 2005. The following year, the company pledged to keep the equipment out of the core, where potential security issues could arise.

However, BT’s £12.5 billion acquisition of EE in 2016 undermined its pledge, as Huawei kit had been used to build the mobile phone company’s 3G and 4G networks. EE, for instance, used Huawei kit to launch Britain’s first 4G network.

 

Last modified on 05 December 2018
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