Sci-tech

UK's BT Group cuts Huawei out of wireless networks

UK's BT Group cuts Huawei out of wireless networks

Huawei and EE had in November 2017 also demonstrated separate uplink-downlink (UL/DL) decoupling technology across a 5G-LTE network deployment in London.

Australia and New Zealand have already announced that they will not use Huawei for 5G operations.

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

BT will pull Huawei equipment out of its core 4G network within two years to fit its own internal policy. The information was cited by Reuters after initially being published by the Financial Times.

Neither BT nor Huawei have commented on the matter so far, but we expect the Chinese company to react, as it usually does before appealing or trying to revert such decisions. Huawei's "enhanced packet core" technology is still at the core of EE's 4G network today.

A spokesman said that Huawei devices will be removed "from the core of our 3G and 4G networks as part of our network architecture principles in place since 2006".

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The chief of Britain's foreign intelligence services said this week that 5G reliance on Chinese technology was something Britain needed to discuss. "I've been to Shenzhen recently and there's nowhere else in the world where you can see the kind of 5G technology developments that Huawei has achieved".

Just days ago, New Zealand national security minister said local carrier Spark's use of the Chinese vendor's kit in its 5G rollout "poses risk", but said that didn't necessarily mean a ban, as Spark and Huawei could work together to allay the spooks' national security concerns.

He said a report by a security committee of the US Congress has concluded that China could exert sufficient pressure on companies such as Huawei to achieve strategic security goals.

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".

In 2010, the British government, Huawei and telecom operators, including BT, established the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) Oversight Board, based in Banbury. "Huawei has a robust cybersecurity assurance system and a proven track record", it said in the statement.