Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

BT strips Huawei kit from its network

BT strips Huawei kit from its network

Also this week, Canada's top intelligence official, David Vigneault, warned in his first public speech about the dangers of state-sponsored espionage through 5G mobile networks, according to The Globe and Mail.

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

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

But when BT bought EE it inconveniently acquired a 4G network built with Huawei's data packet technology at the very core of its operations, so it's out in the vans for the engineers to strip it out and replace it all - a task that could take as long as two years.

Huawei Technologies has signed a contract to upgrade Portugal's No 1 phone network into the 5G standard, giving the Chinese company its 23rd global network client to extend its lead as the world's largest maker of telecommunications equipment.

"Our 5G research has been hugely promising, and this partnership with Huawei will turn that research into reality", BT CTIO Howard Watson said at the time.

Huawei - one of the world's largest mobile equipment and service providers - has always been under scrutiny over its allegedly close ties to China's state intelligence services.

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Britain's MI6 head Alex Younger publicly questioned on Monday whether Huawei should be involved in the 5G platform.

"Huawei have been a trusted partner for Altice for many years, and we look forward to explore this revolutional new technology together for the benefit of our consumer and enterprise customers, as well as a way to promote new business models and services", said Altice Portugal's chief executive Alexandre Fonseca. Huawei has said that the concerns were unwarranted.

"This is a normal and expected activity, which we understand and fully support", it said in a statement.

In the July report, the HCSEC oversight board identified "technical issues" in Huawei's engineering processes, which it said could cause "new risks in the United Kingdom telecommunications networks". This agreement remains in place today.

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

The telco is claiming that it made the decision to remove Huawei in order to bring EE in line with its legacy fixed network, which does not use Huawei technology.

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