Sunday, 16 December, 2018

BT to remove Huawei equipment from its core 4G network: FT

BT to remove Huawei hardware from 4G network amid fears of Chinese spying BT will remove Huawei 4G equipment and excludes company from 5G bids
Troy Mann | 07 December, 2018, 20:35

BT has also said it will not purchase equipment from Huawei for its 5G network.

The BBC reported yesterday that BT had said that it will not use Huawei's equipment within the heart of its 5G mobile network, and that it was also stripping out the Chinese giant's equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G networks.

New Zealand's government last week insisted that it was not banning Huawei from its 5G network rollout because it was Chinese.

It added that Huawei would still be part of its secondary "5G Radio Access Network".

Huawei kit in the United Kingdom is subject to monitoring by a dedicated GCHQ unit, but the head of MI6 has recently suggested operators should consider the role of Chinese manufacturers in digital infrastructure.

Huawei has been in Britain for more than 17 years, with its equipment checked and monitored by a special company laboratory overseen by government and intelligence operators.

"Working together, we have already completed a number of successful 5G trials across different sites in London, and we will continue to work with BT in the 5G era", a company spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement. Huawei's "enhanced packet core" technology is still at the core of EE's 4G network today.

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"Huawei has been working with BT for nearly 15 years", a Huawei spokesperson said.

Concerns about Chinese involvement in sensitive areas such as telecoms began to grow after a recent report to US congress by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission suggested the Chinese government "exerts strong influence over its firms".

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.

Younger said that Britain needs to innovate faster than countries like China and questioned the country's reliance on Chinese hardware, saying that Britain needed to decide how comfortable it is "with Chinese ownership of these technologies".

In a statement reproduced by The Guardian, BT said that it started replacing Huawei equipment after acquiring EE in 2016, following principles it set out as far back as 2006.

The HCSEC was launched in November 2010 to help mitigate any potential risks in using Huawei technology in the UK's critical national infrastructure.

"We have never had a cyber security-related incident".

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