NEW YORK Oct 26 Wireless service provider
Clearwire Corp said on Friday it will use equipment
from China's Huawei in a high-speed network upgrade it
starts in 2013, with the blessing of the U.S. government.
Clearwire said it reviewed its plans "with the technical
arms of multiple federal agencies" and that it has "great
respect for the U.S. government and their oversight role over
the nation's infrastructure."
The decision follows a U.S. congressional report earlier
this month that said Huawei network equipment should be kept out
of the U.S. market as potential Chinese state influence could
pose a security threat.
Clearwire's biggest shareholder and customer is Sprint
Nextel, which provides telecom services to the U.S.
government. Sprint, which is being taken over by Softbank Corp
, plans to use the Clearwire high-speed network to boost
its capacity for its own service.
Clearwire, which already uses Huawei gear for its existing
service, plans to use the Chinese vendor's technology to upgrade
its network in markets where Huawei equipment is already in use,
according to a statement attributed to Clearwire Chief
Technology Officer John Saw.
He said Huawei represents less than 5 percent of Clearwire's
total budget for the network upgrade to Long Term Evolution
Technology and that the company is "materially reducing their
footprint" for its LTE network.
The company said it will require all its vendors equipment
and software to pass extensive testing by a third party company
that is approved by the U.S. government to vet critical
infrastructure systems for security weaknesses and threats.
Clearwire outlined plans for its network upgrade by the end
of June 2013 on Thursday.
It named South Korea's Samsung Electronics,
along with U.S. companies Cisco Systems and Ciena Corp
as its other equipment vendors for the upgrade.
Sweden's Ericsson will maintain the network.