Chinese telecom tech vendor Huawei has experienced another setback in its quest to become a dominant 5G equipment provider.
UK telecom BT has said that the Huawei technology won’t be used in the 5G wireless network it’s currently building. BT also said that it’s removing Huawei products from its existing 3G and 4G wireless networks.
The news, first reported by The Financial Times, comes amid a report last week that the U.S. government, wary of potential cyber-espionage perpetrated through Chinese-made electronics, has put pressure on Europe to also ban Huawei. Leading British security officials have also voiced their concerns.
For its part, BT said it’s merely keeping it’s wireless infrastructure—acquired in its 2016 purchase of EE—in line with its existing networks policy, which doesn’t include Huawei.
"We're applying these same principles to our current RFP (Request for Proposal) for 5G core infrastructure,” BT said in a statement. "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.”
BT said it is still using Huawei for “benign” applications, such as masts or telecom towers.
Responding to CNN, Huawei said it "understands and supports" BT's decision and that it will continue working with BT. "Our products and solutions serve customers in more than 170 countries and regions," the company said in a statement.