BT excludes Huawei from 5G network, to remove 4G equipment

BT to remove Huawei hardware from 4G network amid fears of Chinese spying

BT will remove Huawei 4G equipment and excludes company from 5G bids

The decision comes as governments increase their scrutiny of Huawei equipment ahead of rolling out 5G, the next generation mobile communication technology that promise faster download speeds and better connections.

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".

As part of an "extraordinary outreach campaign", U.S. officials have reportedly reached out to their government counterparts and telecom executives in European and Asian countries where Huawei equipment is already in use, warning them about the "national security risks" posed by the Chinese firm. Huawei's "enhanced packet core" technology is still at the core of EE's 4G network today.

A November Wall Street Journal report claimed that the USA called upon its close allies to avoid purchasing and using network equipment from the Chinese manufacturer.

Huawei is a world leader in equipment used to build phone networks, and was heavily involved in building the 4G networks in Britain.

BT is removing kit made by Chinese firm Huawei from its network amid fears of spying.

Google's chat plans: Kill Allo, upgrade Duo and invest in Messages
The company first launched Google Allo back in 2016 , offering some interesting functionality for the time. With Hangouts and Allo out of the way, Google may finally have a straightforward approach to messaging.

BT, which first signed up to work with Huawei in 2005, was one of the first companies outside of China to use its network equipment.

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

The news comes in the wake of the head of MI6, Alex Younger, questioning whether Chinese firms such as Huawei should be involved in United Kingdom communications infrastructure.

He said: "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".

But British and USA 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.

Beijing could "force Chinese suppliers or manufacturers to modify products to perform below expectations or fail, facilitate state or corporate espionage, or otherwise compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability", Younger said. BT reports offering various services in around 180 countries.

Latest News