BT will remove Huawei 4G equipment and excludes company from 5G bids

Ruben Fields
December 6, 2018

BT said Huawei's equipment had not been used in the core of its fixed-line network, and it was removing it from the core of the mobile networks it acquired when it bought operator EE.

"Huawei remains an important equipment provider outside the core network, and a valued innovation partner".

Huawei and EE had in November 2017 also demonstrated separate uplink-downlink (UL/DL) decoupling technology across a 5G-LTE network deployment in London. "I've been to Shenzhen recently and there's nowhere else in the world where you can see the kind of 5G technology developments that Huawei has achieved".

Huawei's Portugal chief executive Chris Lu believes that 5G will bring unprecedented changes to the daily lives of people, and to the industry, and the contract with Altice shows the commitment of both companies to the future of 5G in Portugal.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Washington has asked its allies to cut ties with Huawei because its equipment posed strong cybersecurity risks. Huawei has said that the concerns were unwarranted.

A recent report to the US congress by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission suggested the Chinese government "exerts strong influence over its firms", and could "force Chinese suppliers or manufacturers to modify products to perform below expectations or fail, facilitate state or corporate espionage, or otherwise compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability" of devices and networks that use them.

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

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BT Group of the United Kingdom would remove Huawei's gear from its core 4G network within two years, according to a Wednesday report by the Financial Times newspaper. As a result, Huawei have not been included in vendor selection for.

The move also comes after the head of MI6 foreign intelligence service this week singled out the Chinese company as a potential security risk.

Huawei told The Reg it had "been working with BT for nearly 15 years".

"This is a normal and expected activity, which we understand and fully support", it said in a statement.

"In 2016, following the acquisition of EE, we began a process to remove Huawei equipment from the core of our 3G and 4G networks, as part of network architecture principles in place since 2006", a BT spokesman said.

In 2010, the British government, Huawei and telecom operators, including BT, established the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) Oversight Board, based in Banbury.

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