Briefing: British telco BT blocks Huawei from core networks

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

What happened: British telecommunications company BT Group said it will not use Huawei’s equipment in the central parts of its 5G network. BT claimed it began stripping Huawei’s products from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations in 2016 after the acquisition of mobile operator EE. Huawei equipment was used to build EE’s 3G and 4G networks. The British firm said the process was to bring its mobile phone business in line with internal policy.

Why it’s important:  Governments are increasingly wary of Huawei’s presence in their core national infrastructure, especially as they prepare for auctions for the next generation mobile network. Earlier this week the chief of British intelligence agency MI6 raised concerns about integrating Chinese technology in the UK’s communications infrastructure. The US and a number of its allies, including Australia and New Zealand, have decided to block Huawei from supplying core 5G equipment, fearing the Chinese firm’s close ties to Beijing make its network equipment vulnerable to surveillance and interference.