BT to strip China’s Huawei from core networks, limit 5G access

Huawei Equipment deployed across its core 4G network

The British firm had initially promised to keep the Chinese equipment out of its core network in light of security issues, but when BT bought EE in 2016 for £12.5 billion ($15.9 billion) it started using Huawei gear for new 3G and 4G networks.

Britain's BT Group said on Wednesday it was removing Huawei Technologies' equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of the next network.

5G networks are coming, but Huawei is getting shut out several markets.

"We're applying these same principles to our current RFP for 5G core infrastructure".

"As a result, Huawei have not been included in vendor selection for our 5G core", he said.

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Huawei, the world's biggest network equipment maker ahead of Ericsson and Nokia, has said Beijing has no influence over its operations. BT's spending was £443 million on customer driven investments, £327 million on systems and IT, and £75 million on non-network infrastructure.

It said the process was to bring the EE networks in line with the rest of its business rather than a change of policy. EE will be converting mobile spectrum from 3G to 4G.

As part of an "extraordinary outreach campaign", United States officials have reportedly reached out to their government counterparts and telecom executives in European and Asian countries where Huawei equipment is already in use, warning them about the "national security risks" posed by the Chinese firm.

News of BT's shafting of Huawei comes just weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. government is pressuring foreign allies to ditch networking from Huawei.

Additionally, Huawei was excluded by BT from bidding on future contracts regarding 5G network infrastructure, hardware, and equipment. Earlier this year, Australia too banned Huawei from supplying 5G equipment, also citing security risks.

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