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BT Pulls Huawei Kit From EE's 4G Network

06 December 2018

"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.

A BT spokesperson confirmed to INQ: "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".

BT Group, formerly British Telecom, has chose to not only strip Huawei of its core 4G network but also close the door on any future 5G plans.

BT has barred Huawei's equipment from being used in its core 5G mobile network when it goes online in the United Kingdom, the company has confirmed, amid security concerns.

Huawei will supply the equipment and software for Altice Portugal to upgrade its network to support commercially applicable 5G standards by 2019, the Shenzhen-based gear maker said in a press statement.

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.

Altice had been working with Huawei since 2016, with a network training programme for the development of a 5G ecosystem in Portugal.

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The HCSEC was launched in November 2010 to help mitigate any potential risks in using Huawei technology in the UK's critical national infrastructure. As a result, Huawei has not been included in vendor selection for our 5G core.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Washington has asked its allies to cut ties with Huawei because its equipment posed strong cybersecurity risks.

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

Britain's MI6 head Alex Younger publicly questioned on Monday whether Huawei should be involved in the 5G platform. Huawei has said that the concerns were unwarranted.

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.

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Huawei highlighted its long relationship with BT and "proven track record" of cyber security.

BT Pulls Huawei Kit From EE's 4G Network