BT share price: Telco drops Huawei from key networks

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Huawei Technologies has signed a contract to upgrade Portugal's No 1 phone network into the 5G standard, giving the Chinese company its 23rd global network client to extend its lead as the world's largest maker of telecommunications equipment.

The UK telecoms firm BT on Wednesday was revealed to be the latest firm prepared to act on those concerns with a plan, first reported in the Financial Times, to bar Huawei 5G equipment from its core network.

Governments in the US, New Zealand and Australia have already moved to block the use of Huawei's equipment as part of the future roll-out of 5G networks.

Wall Street Journal in November reported that the US government will be asking wireless and internet providers in friendly countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from Huawei.

New Zealand's government last week insisted that it was not banning Huawei from its 5G network rollout because it was Chinese.

However, Huawei's statement on the BT/EE decision downplayed its significance, reading: "Huawei has been working with BT for nearly 15 years".

A spokesman said that Huawei devices will be removed "from the core of our 3G and 4G networks as part of our network architecture principles in place since 2006".

5G- Shutterstock
BT rejects Huawei's 5G network infrastructure bid in the UK

To allay fears - led largely by the U.S. about the company, as well as its rival ZTE - a cyber security centre known as the "Cell" was established in Banbury, Oxfordshire, where infosec experts were employed to comb over Huawei gear and check it for potential misuse.

It added that Huawei would still be part of its secondary "5G Radio Access Network".

The telecom giant Huawei's relations with the West have always been dogged by concerns that its remarkable economic success selling affordable consumer gadgetry has hidden a secret and darker mission as a hi-tech spying tool of Beijing.

Younger said that Britain needs to innovate faster than countries like China and questioned the country's reliance on Chinese hardware, saying that Britain needed to decide how comfortable it is "with Chinese ownership of these technologies".

Concerns were raised at the time of the potential for Huawei infrastructure and the role it could play in cyber spying.

Huawei said it will continue to collaborate with BT despite being left out of the 5G vendor process. Even though British intelligence has requested the United Kingdom government finalise its stance for or against Huawei, BT has stated that the recent move is due to wanting a uniform approach to its systems since acquiring EE in 2015.

"We have never had a cyber security-related incident".

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