BT has said it will not use Huawei equipment within the core of its 5G mobile network when it is rolled out in the UK. It still plans to use the Chinese company’s phone mast antennas and other products deemed not to be at the “core” of the service.
BT also confirmed that it was stripping out Huawei equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G networks, as revealed by the FT.
The moves follow security concerns: The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission recently issued a report saying that Beijing could force Huawei and other Chinese 5G equipment-makers to “modify products to perform below expectations or fail, facilitate state or corporate espionage, or otherwise compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability” of networks that used them.
Earlier this week intelligence service MI6’s chief Alex Younger said Britain needed to decide how comfortable it was using Chinese-owned technologies within its communications infrastructure. Huawei denies having any ties to the Chinese government.
BT has had a long relationship with Huawei’s within its fixed-line network, having signed a pioneering contract with the supplier in 2005.