'BT has confirmed it is removing Huawei equipment from key areas of its 4G network as concerns are raised about the Chinese firm’s presence in critical telecoms infrastructure.
Governments in the US, New Zealand and Australia have already moved to block the use of Huawei’s equipment as part of the future rollout of 5G networks. Earlier this week the head of MI6 also suggested the UK needed to decide if it was “comfortable” with Chinese ownership of the technology being used.
On Wednesday it emerged that Canada has arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the US in a move likely to exacerbate tensions between the US and China.
Meng Wanzhou, one of the vice-chairs on the Chinese technology company’s board and the daughter of the company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on 1 December. A court hearing has been set for Friday, according to Canada’s department of justice.
In a statement, the UK telecoms group has confirmed it is in the process of removing Huawei equipment from the key parts of its 3G and 4G networks to meet an existing internal policy not to have the Chinese firm at the centre of its infrastructure.
“In 2016, following the acquisition of EE, we began a process to remove Huawei equipment from the core of our 3G and 4G mobile networks, as part of network architecture principles in place since 2006,” BT said. “We’re applying these same principles to our current RFP (request for proposal) for 5G core infrastructure. As a result, Huawei have not been included in vendor selection for our 5G core. Huawei remains an important equipment provider outside the core network and a valued innovation partner.”'
Read more: BT removing Huawei equipment from parts of 4G network
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