BT confirms removal of Huawei 4G equipment - Telcos

BT confirms removal of Huawei 4G equipment - Telcos

The move comes after the governments of the US, New Zealand and Australia blocked the use of Huawei's equipment completely in next generation 5G mobile networks.

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.

"We're applying these same principles to our current RFP (request for proposal) for 5G core infrastructure", BT said.

"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.

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

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

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Huawei is the world's largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones.

It follows reports that the United States is trying to persuade foreign allies' wireless and internet providers to avoid the Chinese company's equipment, citing cybersecurity risks. EE has been continuing its pre-planned rollout of 4G - which uses the Chinese firm's kit - subsequent to the acquisition.

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.

The British company also confirmed it is removing Huawei's hardware from use in its existing 3G and 4G networks, first revealed by theFinancial Times this morning.

"We need to decide the extent to which we are going to be comfortable with Chinese ownership of these technologies and these platforms in an environment where some of our allies have taken a very definite position", he said.

But British and US intelligence agencies have alleged that Huawei is linked to China's government, and that its equipment could contain "backdoors" which could be used to snoop on or disrupt communications.

It changed its name and was privatised between 1991 and 1993.

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