BT acts to extract Huawei from its core

Rob Powell / Telecom Ramblings
06 Dec 2018

The pressure to limit Huawei's access to global infrastructure is claiming another victory. Over in the UK, BT Group has apparently made the call to take Huawei gear entirely out of its core 3G and 4G networks entirely over the next two years.

The gear has featured in the 3G and 4G networks built by EE, which BT bought a couple years ago. BT will still use some of the vendor's gear out on the edge and for 'benign parts of the network' that aren't a security risk, but is also excluding Huawei from the bidding for its 5G buildout plans.

Huawei has always loudly disputed the idea that the Chinese government has no influence with the company's technology. But they have nevertheless faced substantial push-back from western countries, especially English-speaking ones. Australia and New Zealand have banned the use of Huawei gear in 5G buildouts already this year, and the US has been pushing the same narrative for some time obviously.

The risk is a theoretical one, but certainly has substantial political traction. Huawei's competitors surely aren't too bothered by the storyline, but are careful to keep their own hands clean given their interest in serving the Chinese market. With 5G equipment decisions clearly on the table over the next few years, it's definitely going to be a hotly disputed topic for some time to come yet.

This article was authored by Rob Powell and was originally posted on

Rob Powell is founder & editor of Telecom Ramblings, which was set up in 2008. The website is dedicated to discussing trends and developments in the telecom industry.

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