Huawei remains “an important supplier” of access equipment in the 4G, 5G network and fixed network of Britain’s leading telecom service provider BT, a spokesperson of the British company told Xinhua on Monday.
BT is not only the largest mobile operator in Britain but also the largest provider of consumer fixed-line voice and broadband services in the country.
The company has worked with Huawei, China’s leading provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices since 2005, said the spokesperson.
Some recent media reports claimed that Huawei’s equipment will not be used within the heart of BT’s 5G mobile network.
The BT spokesperson said that Huawei was not involved in vendor selection for its 5G mobile core, but is still a significant equipment supplier for its 5G Radio Access Network.
BT bought EE, which at the time was Britain’s largest mobile operator, in 2016, and following that acquisition, BT began a program to build a new mobile core and gradually retire Huawei’s 3G and 4G core network equipment, to “follow our network architecture principles (in place since 2006),” according to BT.
BT said that it has not changed its position or policy toward Huawei, and what has happened is that “journalists have reported on existing programs that we have in place.”
The “core network” is just a specific part of an entire mobile network, and it is not even the part that needs the most investment, Huawei also said in a statement.
Huawei is a leading provider of 5G network equipment in the British market. It has worked closely with local carriers. Back in 2017, BT and Huawei announced a new five-year initiative which aims to see the two companies establish a joint research and collaboration group at the University of Cambridge.
BT spokesperson emphasized that Huawei is “a valued innovation partner.”
Ship 200 million smartphones in 2018
Huawei said on Tuesday that it had shipped more than 200 million smartphones so far this year, a record high for the company.
In 2010, Huawei’s smartphone shipments were three million units, according to market research firm IDC. The company overtook Apple in the second and the third quarters of 2018 to become the world’s second-largest phone vendor, IDC said.