BT Pulls Huawei Kit From EE's 4G Network

06 December, 2018, 06:54 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • Huawei has been at the forefront of developing the 5G network

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

BT bought EE for £12.5bn in 2016, which used Huawei equipment in its core 3G and 4G mobile networks at the time, but has since been working on a programme to remove the hardware.

The report, which cites a company spokesperson, claims the move will bring BT's mobile phone business in line with an internal policy to keep the Chinese company's equipment at the edge of telecoms infrastructure.

Britain's telecoms have avoided using Huawei equipment in their network cores, which contain customers' personal data.

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. "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".

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

The Wall Street Journal in November reported that the US government was trying to persuade wireless and internet providers in allied countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from Huawei.

"As a result, Huawei have not been included in vendor selection for our 5G core", he said.

The revelations follow security concerns which were ramped up by a recent report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which alleged Huawei and other Chinese 5G equipment manufacturers could be vulnerable to state influence from Beijing.

Back in July, the United Kingdom government's National Cyber Security Centre had made two low-priority national security findings and two advisory issues during its annual evaluation of the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) in the UK. It is a "normal and expected activity, which we understand and fully support", Huawei said. This agreement remains in place today. "Since it acquired EE in 2016, the BT Group has been actively bringing EE's legacy network architecture in line with this long-standing agreement", Huawei said in a statement on Wednesday. "Huawei has a robust cyber security assurance system and a proven track record".

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