Bell CEO says Huawei may be used for non-core wireless infrastructure following Ottawa decision

Bell’s CEO George Cope said he believes the carrier will be able to use Huawei equipment to build out 5G networks when Ottawa completes its review of Huawei and 5G networks.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Cope stated that Huawei equipment is safe to be used in non-core parts of its network. The core is the most sensitive part of the network and as of now Bell, as well as Telus, have confirmed they do not use Huawei equipment.

“In the end, on Huawei, my instincts would be that it will be [banned in] the core, which is what most of the other countries are talking about,” Cope said. “We’ve always supported that view because that’s been our view since we started to use Huawei.”

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale did note that a decision regarding the 5G review and potentially on Huawei will be revealed before the next federal election.

Huawei currently provides equipment to Bell and Telus related to 3G and 4G LTE networks and has had a presence in Canada since 2008.

As of now the U.S. and Australia have barred the Shenzhen-based company from participating in providing 5G technology and last November, New Zealand’s spy agency told domestic companies to stop using Huawei’s technology.

The United Kingdom and Canada are the only two countries of the group that have not made a decision concerning Huawei. It should be noted that the five countries are part of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance.

The U.S. has been lobbying the countries to ban Huawei due to cybersecurity concerns because it believes Huawei will use its equipment to spy on behalf of the Chinese government.

Reports coming out of the U.K. a couple of weeks ago indicate that the country plans to use Huawei to build out portions of its 5G network system but only the parts that aren’t considered its core network.

“We know what the U.S. is going to do,” Cope said concerning banning Huawei. “I think what’s changed a little bit is people are looking at it quite seriously in Europe and saying maybe it is core versus non-core.”

Image credit: BNN (screenshot)

Source: The Globe and Mail