back to article BT: 'Because of the existing underlying supply of the 4G equipment, most of our 5G (NSA) so far is with Huawei'

Stripping Huawei from the UK's telecommunications network presents a daunting challenge, executives from Vodafone and BT told the House of Commons Defence Sub-Committee yesterday afternoon. Scott Petty, chief technology officer of Vodafone, described the existing 5G NSA (non-standalone) deployments as "inextricably linked" to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I fail to see how hamstringing our networks to enable us to eat chlorinated chicken and sell off the NHS is of any benefit to anyone yet here we are.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      It's funny how France announced pretty much the same policy last week - all Huwawei kit to be out of the 5G networks by 2028.

      How does that relate to your comment on chicken imports?

      Let alone the continuing bizarre inisistance that any UK government is going to "sell off the NHS". A claim Labour has made at pretty much every election since 1950 - and yet is strangely still yet to happen - despite Labour having lost most of those subsequent elections...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        France are removing the kit because if they don't then the Americans will stop sharing data with them and America are also bullies who will spit their dummy out if you don't do what they say. See trade tariffs for that. Do keep up good chap. That covers your first part.

        The second part is covered by recent legislation to enshrine protection for the health service in law which the conservatives voted down. As for why it hasn't happened before is the same for all privatisations ever done. They first need to run it down to a point where the public accept privatisation as the only way of saving and improving it. They are well on their way to doing that. Then once privatised we get short term gains and long term losses until it's then brought back under government control for the tax payer to fix and then they can privatise it again. Also lets not forget the tax payer subsidies for the companies making profits. See British Rail as a great example of that.

        Hope that clears it up for you.

        1. Adam JC

          Well, it worked a treat for our rail networks so what could possibly go wrong?


          Oh, wait.

        2. msknight Silver badge

          Large chunks of the NHS have been going to the private sector for ages.

          That was thanks to the EU legislation that forced work to be put to tender to ensure that all EU members got a chance at sticking their noses in each other's troughs, so if they tried to put forward the argument that privitisation is the only way of saving it... they'd have a bit of an upward climb, methinks.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            So why vote down the legislation to stop it?

            1. awavey

              Because policies on health are best handled under specific health legislation, not under trade legislation, we dont specify how many non EU tomatoes can be sourced under a bill to build new hospitals. It was a wrecking amendment designed purely so the opposition could then shout on about how awful the government were for voting against it and not protecting the NHS

              and therefore clearly selling it to the highest bidder, just like they did with their nurses pay amendment and most of the people shouting loudest about how awful it was think legislation is designed just like voting on some social media poll.

              The NHS doesnt have to be protected within trade legislation for it not to be on the table when discussing trade.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Everyone keeps talking about British Rail - but all evidence indicates that on their best day they were worse than the private rails on a bad day.

          I'm not yet convinced your point isn;t without merit, but British Rail does little to support your point and seems to make the case for privatisation (albeit replacing horrible with less horrible).

          1. Snapper

            Agreed! The difference in quality of carriages, time-keeping and all the other things that used to make travelling on British Rail hell-on-earth are excellent.

            I know some services are poor, and hopefully they will be fixed, but I'd never want to go back to the British Rail that thought the government was just a vast pool of money to pay their workers, and the incredibly poor attitude of the staff towards the travelling public.

            1. Badbob

              Yet, the “privatised” railway consumes far more public cash than BR could have dreamed of.

              Franchise holders look at government as a vast pool of cash with which to pay their shareholders, and I for one will not be shedding any tears for any of them when the inevitable franchise failures happen as the government withdraws emergency support towards the end of the year.

              BR was a hugely efficient organisation that carried out its task using pitiful resources, fighting HM Treasury at every turn and was unable to do any long term planning due to its single year budgets with no guarantees to maintain those levels in the following years. NR has funding agreed for 5 years at a time and has no problems paying vast pools of executives. The franchises aren’t much better. Let’s also not forget that BR didn’t carry a great deal of debt, whereas NR dumped pretty much all of Railtracks and it’s own debt (multiple billions of bonds mostly held by RBS, before it vanished into central government borrowing) on the Treasury and that the franchise holders have been underfunding their pensions for years, a liability which will also fall on the government eventually, while the former TOC operators walk away scot free.

              You try creating a plan to upgrade and improve a network with no notion of what your financial position will be in 12 months.

              Then we reach a national emergency and everyone has their hand out again....

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Yep, starve the service, then when everyone thinks it's crap, privatise it.

                The same plan as for the NHS, but coronavirus woke the people up, putting the Tories in an awkward situation.

                Once the people go to sleep again, it will be full-steam ahead once more.

          2. MJI Silver badge


            I never had any issues with them.

            Interesting to see that the best passenger trains in service are BR designed and built.

            1. IGotOut Silver badge

              Re: BR

              "Interesting to see that the best passenger trains in service are BR..."

              Are you on about those utterly terrible converted bus hacks that make you want to vomit once you hit 10mph, which luckily rarely happens.

              1. hoola Silver badge

                Re: BR

                No, not the Pacer that was crap as it was (is?) a total short-term bodge because there was no money.

                He will be taking about the HST, APT and then going back locos like the Deltic.

                The HST was a stop-gap until the APT entered service. The latter failed, mainly because it was ahead of its time and drunken reporters were sick. Yes, it had failure and issues, but that was more because of the pressure to put it into service too early. It was then scrapped and the technology sold for bugger all, only to resurface in the Pendalino.

                The HST is only now starting to be retired and there is no way the modern stock with a bus engine buzzing away under every carriage will ever do the some miles. I remember being taken as a kid when the HST first entered service on a trip from Paddington (Dad was a train nut) and the acceleration, comfort and speed was amazing/

                Standing on the platform when the rear powercar went out at full wack was just awe inspiring.

                1. MJI Silver badge

                  Re: BR

                  HST - most power cars are around the 10,000,000 mile mark

              2. MJI Silver badge

                Re: BR

                No but don't knock the project by Terry Miller

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            That's the point, they underfunded it to make it horrible. Privatisation is not for monopolies, who are they competing against on a particular network? Where's the choice? You either get that train or you don't. Are we saying the competition is who puts in the highest bid for that franchise? How does that help the people when the tax payer will pay half that back anyway. This public private debate is stupid anyway, you can just employ the same people in government and run it the same way. What makes having a private company making a profit any different other than screwing us over in the process?

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              That's the point, they underfunded it to make it horrible.

              This is the kind of bullshit conspiratorial thinking that is ruining politics!

              Firstly, there is almost never a "they" who do anything. There is no one group that runs everything.

              Secondly, even parties that are against privatisation also underfund public utilities when they are in office. A Labour did with railways, energy, water etc when they were in office. This maybe because government are awful at running things, but I don't think so. It's more because governments can borrow very cheaply, but have so many demands on their cash that they struggle to justify investment in boring stuff like sewerage plants, when they could be garnering votes by giving nurses pay rises or building hospitals.

              It doesn't mean you can't run a nationalised industry well, but if one requires long-term planning and vast amounts of cash for investment - it does become much harder.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                They = The Tories. Didn't think I had to clarify that or are you trying to accuse me of something here that didn't exist in my thinking? I find it most interesting that you would make that assumption.

                1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                  Fair enough, if you meant the Conservative party. I’m probably over-reacting to the types of people who want to destroy capitalism because "they" are out to get everybody, or something.

                  However, if it’s the nasty Torres out to knacker all public services in order to justify privatising them, how come I remember British Rail being crap in the 70s, when Labour had been running the country for 11 of the previous 15 years? As was true of BT, British Leyland and many others.

                  In fact the water industry had been terribly underfunded under all post-war governments. And was privatised due to needing massive, and rapid, investment to make up for this and achieve modern standards. Plus meet new legislation, that the government had somehow agreed at EU level without noticing they might have to comply with it. Although that last bit definitely happened on the Tories watch.

                  Plus privatisation was a reaction against the failures (both perceived and actual) of nationalised industries. That failure happened before the idea of privatisation was mainstream, i.e. the late 70s. The post-war consensus covered both parties when in government until then, and Thatcher only started calling for it from opposition in the late 70s. So I still think you’re indulging in a distortion of history, in order to try to claim the people who politically disagree with you are acting out of bad faith, rather than just because they disagree with you.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Fair capitalism can work but we will never get that because of greed. Back in the 70's the money wasn't available to invest because the rich didn't control all the wealth so there was no money to borrow to make the rich richer. Simple economics.

              2. vogon00

                This is the kind of bullshit conspiratorial thinking that is ruining politics!


      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Let alone the continuing bizarre inisistance that any UK government is going to "sell off the NHS".

        Well it seems like they want to, otherwise they wouldn't have voted down this amendment:

        Here's the Lowdown on that Viral Tweet About the UK Government Selling Off the NHS

        The government has repeatedly said it will not sell off the NHS – but nevertheless it voted against the amendment. And although every opposition party (even the DUP) voted for the amendment, not a single Tory MP rebelled and so it passed easily.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The government also promised the best brexit deal ever, no border in the Irish Sea, £350 million for the NHS, we're going to make sure we have unfettered access to the single market, "FactsCheckUK" etc...

          I'm unsure why you doubt the governments honesty, Dan!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, just don't buy the chlorinated chicken

      @A/c Enjoy your chlorinated pre packed salad. It's been chlorinated for years.

      Or do what I do. Buy from a local butcher that sources local produce.

      Cheers… Ishy

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, just don't buy the chlorinated chicken

        Why would you buy salad from your butcher?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, just don't buy the chlorinated chicken

        The issue isn't the chlorine itself, but the reason the chlorine is necessary.

    3. Yes Me Silver badge

      Be happy

      Don't worry too much. If Trump loses in November, the policy will be reversed within a few months. If Trump wins, we're all screwed anyway, so it won't really matter any more.

  2. Dinanziame Silver badge

    The way you say it, you'd think the decision was political...

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      And not even our politics.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The CCP is a government that any humanitarian (or just someone that holds 'western values' should not want to continue.

        The Allies are always painted as meek and cowards for allowing Germany to break laws and treaties abandoning Poland, Romania and the Czecks to the Axis but nothing has changed, we're still allowing authoritarian nations to walk all over us just because we're too yellow to take a hard stance.

        1. Snapper

          We abandoned Poland? We (and France) declared war FFS! We had no way of getting the massive numbers of troops, artillery, tanks and aircraft to Poland in time to make a difference, and even if we had there was no infrastructure left. The blitzkrieg took just over 4 weeks from start to finish, aided by the Soviet Union, allies to and trainers of the German military. So we'd have been fighting the Nazi's and the Bolsheviks.

          Maybe you need to read a few good history books that deal with those horrible things called 'recorded facts' before you show your ignorance.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I know my history but maybe you should learn to read.

            note: 'painted'. You talk to a native pole you've got a good chance of them holding the opinion I described.

            This opinion is backed up in their minds and others by the 'phoney war'. Sure France's plans revolved around the Maginot line but playing defensive isn't great for the people Germany was busy ransacking in the east

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          The Allies are always painted as meek and cowards for allowing Germany to break laws and treaties

          Remember before there was "the Allies" there was the UK and France; the US were too busy doing business with Germany (to help them break laws and treaties) to care about what was actually happening in Europe - it took Churchill a lot of effort to see that actually taking sides and along with the Russians, joining "the Allies" was actually in their best interests.

    2. Annihilator Silver badge

      Give it 4 months (hopefully), and I suspect we'll start to see a gradual reversal of the decisions...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Give it 4 months (hopefully), and I suspect we'll start to see a gradual reversal of the decisions...

        I don't think so. Trump might be an arse, but the security worries over Huawei are I think genuine, as the US and UK security people were publicly worrying about them when Obama was President.

        But even if that's not the real reason, and actually it's pure protectionism - the Democrats have traditionally been a bit more protectionist than the Republicans. Though admittedly Trump is an outlier, as he don't have love a quick trade war that he can "win" with a "great deal". But as far as I can see, the ban on Huawei has cross-party support in both the US (and the UK) - remember when the Conservatives didn't ban Huawei we were told it was because they cared more about trade with China than security - and now they've changed their mind it's apparently that they don't care enough about trade with China...

        I've been reading suggestions that a lot of European countries quiety took their queue from the UK decision last year, and are now re-examining that in the light of the UK change of heart. France shifted policy a week after we did - and it's not like Chin are making themselves internationally popular at the moment...

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          I agree. Trump's bluster may have created a false impression to outsiders, and Trump moved more quickly to ban them than other presidents might have since he thinks everything is a transaction and Huawei could be used as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations. However, US intelligence agencies are pretty united in their condemnation of Huawei. Now you can rightly question whether there are ulterior motives in that assessment, but this isn't one of the things that is going to change if Biden is elected.

          We would go back to traditional foreign policy rather than foreign policy conducted by tweet, so a lot of this would go back to being behind the scenes, but the net result as far as Huawei is concerned is unlikely to change. They are in fact more likely to see their restrictions loosened if Trump is re-elected, if trade talks resume since he doesn't care about national security just getting what he thinks is a "good deal" he can boast about.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Doubt it - with the US government now banning Huawei from sourcing chips and components with any technology of US origin, Hauwei's position is legitimately untenable with pure Chinese made silicon.

        (i.e Huawei cannot even use silicon and chips made by its own non-Chinese offices, no ARM, no ethernet /GPON carrier-grade chips from Broadcom, etc)

        Whilst the earlier snooping concerns, with globally available parts, were not really necessary (and could be squarely labeled political) it has changed, and now they will be using their own home-grown silicon.

        That means the entire product is Chinese technology alone(in particular the silicon).

        Huawei has competed on price in terms of dollars, but now the price is far too high in non-dollar terms.

        Now their position has become truly unmanageable for other countries from a security perspective, for critical infrastructure.

        At the end of the day the Chinese government's branding and diplomacy have failed here - it has been very short-sighted I think. They chose to take on an aggressionist foreign policy, which in my opinion is conflicted with their aspirations in a global marketplace. They seem bent on kicking other players in the field. Breaching the status quo (Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Japan), state sponsored hacking, etc

        They can't have it both ways - they're ringing the doorbell and expect to be allowed in but are breaking the lock as well.

        I do think Russia gets this bit right - they're happy to just break the lock with their hacking, fake ads, poisons, and what not.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "BT is similarly exposed to Huawei"

    And we all know that we prefer being exposed to the NSA instead.

    What a farce.

    An expensive one, but a farce nonetheless.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It should please the 5-eyes. The replacement kit won't be inspected in the same way Huawei is so more chance for it to be compromised by someone or other.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      But then the main people who seemed to be inspecting the Huawei kit were GCHQ - in that research shop Huawei set up in Blighty to try and allay all our security fears. Which means they ought to know where all the holes are.

      If you were cynical, you'd say they failed to find any - and this is the result. But wasn't the public report more that it was all a bit of a mess, but they'd not found anything dodgy?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        The cynical say it's nothing at all to do with security and everything to do with Trump's trade war that's so good and so easily won.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          In which case, explain the worries expressed by both US and UK intelligence services from 6 years ago, when Trump wasn’t even a serious contender.

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