BT Group (LON:BT.A) has said that it will not use Huawei’s equipment within the heart of its 5G mobile network when it is rolled out in the UK, the BBC has reported. The former telecoms monopoly has further confirmed a report in the Financial Times that it is also stripping out the Chinese giant’s equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G networks amid security concerns.
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 group’s shares, however, are outperforming the FTSE 100, which currently stands 1.48 percent in the red following news that Canadian authorities had arrested a top Huawei executive, with the move adding to worries over the trade relations between the US and China.
BT to drop Huawei from core networks
The BBC reported yesterday that BT had said that it will not use Huawei’s equipment within the heart of its 5G mobile network, and that it was also stripping out the Chinese giant’s equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G networks. The former telecoms monopoly, however, still plans to use Huawei’s phone mast antennas and other products deemed not to be at the ‘core’ of the service.
The newswire notes that the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission had recently said in a report 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 which used them.
Huawei denies having any ties to the Chinese government beyond those of a law-abiding taxpayer.
‘Normal and expected activity’
Reuters meanwhile quoted Huawei as saying it had been working with BT for almost 15 years, and since the beginning of its partnership, the telco had been operating on a principle of different vendors for different layers of its network.
“This is a normal and expected activity, which we understand and fully support,” the Chinese group said in a statement, as quoted by the newswire.