BT to remove Huawei equipment from its core 4G network

Angelica Greene
December 7, 2018

"This is a normal and expected activity, which we understand and fully support".

Three and Huawei have been working on pre-commercial tests this year, and said they will continue testing the service ahead of the public launch in dense urban areas and train stations in 2019.

Further from the reports, the BT Group has also excluded the Chinese company from bidding for contracts to provide equipment that BT will use in its core 5G network.

Chinese equipment giant Huawei is facing total exclusion from BT's mobile core networks, DWDM optical transport network and mobile edge compute deployment plans, a BT spokesperson has confirmed to Light Reading. Earlier this week the chief of British intelligence agency MI6 raised concerns about integrating Chinese technology in the UK's communications infrastructure.

He said: "We need to decide the extent to which we are going to be comfortable with Chinese ownership of these technologies and these platforms in an environment where some of our allies have taken a very definite position".

Australia blocked Huawei and fellow Chinese telecoms company ZTE from providing 5G equipment in August and New Zealand banned Huawei in November. Huawei has said that the concerns were unwarranted.

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"Huawei is aware of a range of United States government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei's business in the U.S. market", the Chinese firm said earlier this year. Huawei's competitors surely aren't too bothered by the storyline, but are careful to keep their own hands clean given their interest in serving the Chinese market. UK-China trade is already worth £59 billion every year - so reneging on long-term deals with one of China's major industrial players would not be good optics.

Fellow UK mobile carrier Three last month also announced that it is working with Huawei on a 5G home broadband demo in London. Huawei later supplied components for BT's national rollout of fiber optic broadband.

BT Group said that it will remove Huawei gear from the core of existing 3G and 4G networks and will not use it for coming 5G operations, according to a report from Reuters on Wednesday.

Following a review, former defence secretary Malcolm Rifkind suggested that the cyber security experts should not be appointed by Huawei, and recommended that GCHQ play a role. Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee launched an investigation into the two companies' dealings in 2012.

It concluded that HCSEC has "only limited assurance" that Huawei equipment poses no threat to national security.

Other reports by GizPress

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