What a difference a couple of years makes.
About two years ago BT proudly trumpeted its work with Huawei (News - Alert) on how to do network slicing on 5G networks. But recently the U.K.-based service provider banned Huawei from its 5G core vendor solution. Meanwhile, the carrier is planning to remove Huawei equipment from its core 4G network within two years.
And a U.K. government leader recently joined the U.S. government in discouraging others from working with Huawei. U.K. Defense Minister Gavin Williamson said he believes using Huawei’s 5G equipment may enable Chinese espionage. He added: “We’ve got to look at what partners such as Australia and the U.S. are doing in order to ensure that they have the maximum security of that 5G network and we’ve got the recognize the fact, as has been recently exposed, that the Chinese state does sometimes act in a malign way.”
In recent years, Huawei has assumed leadership positions in a variety of network product categories. Many rural U.S. service providers have called on Huawei to power their builds. And the Chinese company is now the world’s No. 2 smartphone supplier.
So why the concern about Huawei now?
The answer may be in part because 5G is expected to enable even greater reliance on connected technology. 5G’s fatter bandwidth and ultra-low latency will allow for things like driverless cars and further automation of critical infrastructure.
Meanwhile, President Trump in word and deed is mixing it up with the Chinese government and companies like Huawei and ZTE (News - Alert). And people and organizations around the world are increasingly concerned about our physical and cybersecurity.
But that isn’t keeping Huawei completely out of the loop in Western networks.
BT recently told Light Reading: “Huawei remains an important equipment provider outside the core network, and a valued innovation partner.” And Huawei says it has 22 5G commercial contracts.
Edited by Maurice Nagle