BT to strip Huawei equipment from its core 4G network

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However, BT would keep on using the kits from Huawei which the British company considers as the benign parts of the network, like the equipment on masts. EE made use of the equipment of Huawei in its core 3G and 4G mobile networks at the time, however, it has since been working on a programme to remove the said hardware.

BT's share price has slipped marginally into the red in today's session, having given up 0.23 percent to 260.05p as of 08:43 GMT.

The last time HEXUS reported on concerns about Chinese owned Huawei and ZTE was back in 2012, when the United States government and USA companies were urged to stop participating in projects with these companies due as the "pose a significant threat to national security".

Huawei has been in Britain for more than 17 years and has its equipment checked and monitored by a company laboratory that is overseen by government and intelligence operators in the UK. "As BT noted, 'Huawei remains an important equipment provider and a valued innovation partner'".

Huawei said it will continue to collaborate with BT despite being left out of the 5G vendor process.

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.

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The latest development would seem to be a major setback for Huawei, which is facing a backlash from government authorities in various Western countries.

Huawei, founded by a former People's Liberation Army officer, has already been excluded from the roll-out of 5G networks in the US, New Zealand and Australia after questions were raised about the firm's links to the Chinese state. "Since it acquired EE in 2016, the BT Group has been actively bringing EE's legacy network architecture in line with this long-standing agreement", Huawei said in a statement on Wednesday.

The approach will also be applied in BT's next-generation 5G mobile network, for which it is procuring equipment.

However, the BBC understands that BT introduced an internal policy a year later that restricted use of Huawei's equipment to the "periphery" of its infrastructure.

It concluded that HCSEC has "only limited assurance" that Huawei equipment poses no threat to national security.

Ironically, Huawei's infrastructure rival Cisco had its equipment secretly used by America's National Security Agency for espionage for a number of years.