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Author Topic: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network  (Read 389 times)

Bowdon

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Quote
Telecoms giant BT (EE) has confirmed that they will remove Huawei’s kit from their core 3G and 4G network within the next 2 years. On top of that they will also exclude the Chinese company from bidding on future 5G contracts (core network only), but it’s unclear if Openreach will adopt a similar policy for fixed line broadband.

At present Huawei‘s equipment is widely used in the United Kingdom by various fixed line network suppliers, ISPs and mobile operators. For example, Huawei supplies lot of the kit for Openreach’s FTTC (VDSL2) broadband street cabinets and G.fast modems. Meanwhile EE has related kit in their existing 4G network and until recently it seemed almost inevitable that they’d also be helping to supply the operator’s future 5G services.

Broadly speaking the Chinese company has a strong reputation for building good quality equipment and selling it an affordable price, but over the past few years’ the company has also become the target for some increasingly vocal security warnings from various different countries.

Back in 2013 a report from the government’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) warned UK operators that deployment of broadband and telecoms equipment supplied by Huawei could have “implications for national security”, which was despite GCHQ establishing the joint Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (The Cell) with Huawei to examine their kit.

Earlier this year the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) took an even tougher line by calling on telecoms firms not to use hardware and services provided by ZTE – a Chinese state-owned enterprise – because of the “potential risks to the UK’s national security”.

So far Huawei has avoided that same level of concern, but it’s often suggested that recent changes in policy by the Chinese government (i.e. requiring such firms to work with their state intelligence agencies) may have raised the perceived threat level. Previously Huawei has tried to demonstrate some distance between themselves and their government but that is now harder to argue.

The first warning shots came in July 2018 when the Oversight Board for the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) said it had identified “shortcomings” in Huawei’s engineering processes, which they claimed “exposed new risks in the UK telecommunication networks”.

On Monday the aforementioned concerns were followed by a stark warning from the chief of MI6, Alex Younger, who said: “We need to decide the extent to which we are going to be comfortable with Chinese ownership of these technologies and these platforms in an environment where some of our allies have taken a quite definite position” (e.g. Australia, New Zealand and the USA have taken a very tough line).

Quote
    A Spokesperson for BT told ISPreview.co.uk:

    “In 2016, following the acquisition of EE, we began a process to remove Huawei equipment from the core of our 3G and 4G networks, as part of network architecture principles in place since 2006.

    We’re applying these same principles to our current RFP 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.”
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kitz

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Re: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 02:24:48 PM »

>> but it’s unclear if Openreach will adopt a similar policy for fixed line broadband.

Re mobile network

Quote
BT has said it will not use Huawei's equipment within the heart of its 5G mobile network when it is rolled out in the UK.

The British firm, however, still plans to use the Chinese company's phone mast antennas and other products deemed not to be at the "core" of the service.

BT also confirmed that it was stripping out Huawei equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G networks


Re fixed line
Quote
BT has has long made use of Huawei's equipment within its fixed-line network, having signed a pioneering contract with the supplier in 2005.

However, the BBC understands that BT introduced an internal policy a year later that restricted use of Huawei's equipment to the "periphery" of its infrastructure.

This kit is sometimes referred within the industry to being "the dumb stuff at the end of the pipes".

It meant in theory that were Huawei's equipment to be compromised, some customers would be affected but the wider network would not collapse.

Reference
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CarlT

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Re: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 02:54:45 PM »

The fixed line Huawei kit is on the periphery, OLTs and DSLAMs, so should be fine as is  :)
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burakkucat

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Re: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 06:33:42 PM »

The fixed line Huawei kit is on the periphery, OLTs and DSLAMs, so should be fine as is  :)

Exactly.  :)
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Weaver

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Re: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 08:19:20 PM »

I had better bin my Huawei 3G dongle now then. :-) especially seeing as it is so slow.
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burakkucat

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Re: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2018, 09:40:13 PM »

I had better bin my Huawei 3G dongle . . .

Or advertise it on eBay with the tag-line "As used on the Isle of Skye." Someone will be bound to purchase it.
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Weaver

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Re: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 09:38:54 AM »

 :)
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renluop

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Re: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2018, 11:07:11 AM »

Or advertise it on eBay with the tag-line "As used on the Isle of Skye." Someone will be bound to purchase it.
That'll be almost a foreign import at Skye High p&p, then. :D
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jelv

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Re: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2018, 12:25:46 PM »

If you did put it on eBay as coming from Isle of Skye, what's the betting someone would ask how much it costs to ship to the UK!
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burakkucat

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Re: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2018, 04:45:38 PM »

. . . ask how much it costs to ship to the UK!

The cost of one bottle of 15 year old single malt.  :D
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Weaver

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Re: Security – BT and EE to Remove Huawei Kit from UK Mobile Network
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2018, 09:01:17 AM »

The shipping from the UK thing is all too true. When confronted with the mysterious suggestion that someone lives north of the Forth-Clyde line, it seems that over and over again some people who live further south cannot cope with the idea of shipping to such parts unknown. Time after time we all find that internet retailers simply will not deliver at all, or impose a £20 rip off tax. I also get challenged about sea crossings and planes, even though Skye has had a bridge for 22 years, and in any case even if I were in Harris or Shetland the Royal Mail ships at a flat rate. Such poor fools should just use the ordinary postman.

When confronted with such stupidity I just make a mental note never to waste time with that seller again, so they have lost not just one sale but all my future business plus that of everyone else whom I ask to join in the boycott.

One recent example was the internet retailer ‘Moonpig’, an outfit that sells cards to some people. These wretched fools simply refuse to ship to me. So in my `notes’ app on my iPad there is an entry reminding me not to waste time with the moronic outfit in future. The warning to self is parked there because that is where I always go to look for account details and passwords used for different website user logins.

Nowadays the competition is only a few clicks away. It is very frustrating though, such a time waster. I should actually do more than just voting with my feet. I should let the idiots know, but that’s very difficult because there is virtually no chance of getting hold of a person who can do something about it.
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