BT to strip China's Huawei from core networks, limit 5G access

Gerald Bowen
December 8, 2018

And on Monday, intelligence service MI6's chief Alex Younger said Britain needed to decide how comfortable it was using Chinese-owned technologies within its communications infrastructure.

It is understood that Huawei kit will still be used on the "periphery" of its fixed-line network, i.e. the non-core parts that according to the BBC, is often referred within the industry to being "the dumb stuff at the end of the pipes".

In their own statement, the company said: "Huawei has been working with BT for nearly 15 years. Huawei remains an important equipment provider outside the core network, and a valued innovation partner".

The move came after Australia and New Zealand have both stopped their telecom providers from using Huawei equipment in their new 5G networks.

While BT has reportedly blocked Huawei from bidding for any 5G core network contract, it has not imposed the same kind of restrictions on the radio side, where it is already trialing Huawei's 5G basestations in preparation for its 5G service launch next year.

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Telecom giant Huawei Technologies suffered a new setback in Britain as its equipment got frozen out for use in leading carrier BT Group PLC's core networks, even as the controversial company won a smaller victory with reaffirmation for its products from Portugal. EE made use of the equipment of Huawei in its core 3G and 4G mobile networks at the time, however, it has since been working on a programme to remove the said hardware.

Huawei has previously promoted its partnership with BT, and as recently as February issued a press release that said the two were working together on the "development and live trials" of 5G core network technologies.

This includes EE, which used Huawei kit for its core 3G and 4G networks prior to its 2016 acquisition by BT. "Huawei has a robust cyber security assurance system and a proven track record". The group's shares, however, are outperforming the FTSE 100, which now stands 1.48 percent in the red following news that Canadian authorities had arrested a top Huawei executive, with the move adding to worries over the trade relations between the U.S. and China.

In July this year, the oversight board said it could provide "only limited assurance" that all risks to national security from Huawei's involvement in United Kingdom networks have been sufficiently mitigated.

The Japanese government also plans to ban the purchase of Huawei equipment. They have been alerting them about the national security risks presented by the Chinese firm.

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