Thu, Dec 06, 2018 - Page 11 News List

BT removes Huawei from its core mobile operations

Reuters, LONDON

Britain’s BT Group PLC yesterday said that it was removing Huawei Technologies Co’s (華為) equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of its next network.

New Zealand and Australia have prohibited telecom operators from using Huawei’s equipment in new 5G networks, because they are concerned about possible Chinese government involvement in their communications infrastructure.

Huawei, the world’s biggest network equipment maker ahead of Telefonaktiebolaget L.M. Ericsson and Nokia Corp, has said Beijing has no influence over its operations.

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

The process was to bring the EE networks into line with the rest of its business rather than a change of policy, it said.

“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.

The firm would apply the same principles to its next-generation mobile networks, he said.

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

“Huawei remains an important equipment provider outside the core network and a valued innovation partner,” he added.

The chief of Britain’s foreign intelligence services earlier this week said that 5G reliance on Chinese technology was something Britain needed to discuss.

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.

Huawei said it had been working with BT for almost 15 years and since the beginning of its partnership, BT had been operating on a principle of different vendors for different layers of its network.

“This is a normal and expected activity, which we understand and fully support,” Huawei said in a statement.

It said it began working with EE in 2012 and had supplied the mobile operator with 3G and 4G network solutions, including core network equipment.

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