BT says Huawei hasn't been included in vendor selection for its 5G core, but "remains an important equipment provider".
The UK's incumbent telco chalked up any inclusion of Huawei kit at the core to its purchase of EE two years ago, telling The Reg: "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".
The last time HEXUS reported on concerns about Chinese owned Huawei and ZTE was back in 2012, when the United States government and U.S. companies were urged to stop participating in projects with these companies due as the "pose a significant threat to national security". Already governments in the US, New Zealand and Australia have blocked Huawei devices from deployment in 5G networks, and it looks like BT, prompted by MI6 concerns, has chose to follow suit.
New Zealand's government last week insisted that it was not banning Huawei from its 5G network rollout because it was Chinese.
BT bought EE for £12.5bn in 2016, which used Huawei equipment in its core 3G and 4G mobile networks at the time, but has since been working on a programme to remove the hardware.
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"We're applying these same principles to our current request for proposal for 5G core infrastructure".
Huawei agreed that the decision is "a normal and expected activity, which we understand and fully support", despite EE extending its 5G partnership with Huawei to cover live trials of 5G New Radio (NR) and customer premises equipment (CPE) back in February.
Wall Street Journal in November reported that the USA government will be asking wireless and internet providers in friendly countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from Huawei.
Huawei told The Reg it had "been working with BT for nearly 15 years".
"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 very definite position", he said in a rare public address. "I've been to Shenzhen recently and there's nowhere else in the world where you can see the kind of 5G technology developments that Huawei has achieved". BT reports offering various services in around 180 countries.