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Sprint Continues to use Huawei Hardware on their Network

January 25, 2016 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Like many other Android manufacturers, Huawei also has other businesses. Many of you may or may not know that Huawei makes all sorts of hardware for networks. Which we got a chance to see up close during our media tour in Shenzhen back in November of 2015. Huawei equipment is used in networks around the world, and many of you are likely unaware of the fact that you are using their hardware. The issue with Huawei is that the US government believes that the Chinese government uses the company to spy on the US. Something that we cannot confirm, but it has the government a bit paranoid.

When Sprint bought Clearwire in 2013, one of the concessions they made for the deal to be approved was to stop using Huawei’s hardware on that Clearwire network. Sprint agreed and even stated that they would “destroy” that hardware. Well here we are nearly three years later and Sprint is still using Huawei’s gear on their towers. Adrienne Norton, who is the spokesperson for Sprint’s network, stated that “Huawei equipment will be destroyed” back in November. She continued “other equipment will either be recycled or reused. The non-Huawei sites that are not being kept as part of Sprint’s network plan will have equipment removed in phases as lease terms expire or are terminated.” However it appears that the equipment from Huawei has not been destroyed, according to a report. According to the report, a Sprint spokesperson stated that they aren’t “commenting on timing” in regards to removing Huawei gear.

Back in 2012, the US government released a report that called out Huawei as well as ZTE for security threats in the US. Claiming that they could be used as backdoors for the Chinese to spy on the US. As you’d expect, the two companies denied the allegations. Since then both companies have been locked out of network infrastructure contracts. With Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and others using Nokia and Ericsson in their place.

While it’s true that Sprint was due to decommission their WiMax network in November – which is where all of their Huawei gear is being used. They were also ordered by the court to keep their WiMax network up for a bit longer. So while Sprint is still using Huawei hardware on their towers, it’s due to having to keep their WiMax network up and running.