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Clearwire to pull Huawei from network

Chinese vendor caught in takeover crossfire

A fake tattoo on the leg of Canberra Raiders footballer Sandor Earl, sent by Huawei as an April Fool

US mobile carrier Clearwire is getting ready to draw-down the Huawei kit in its network, in an apparent response to the never-ending story that the vendor is a threat to US national security.

While not a body blow to the Chinese vendor, since it's won less than five per cent of Clearwire's LTE build, it will drop yet more fuel onto the FUD-fire that continues to surround the vendor.

“We are materially reducing their footprint in our LTE network,” the company's CTO John Saw has told FierceWireless.

In essence, FierceWireless reports, Clearwire has attracted the government's paranoia because Sprint Nextel (majority owner of Clearwire, and with a bid in for the shares it doesn't already hold) is itself subject to an offer by SoftBank from Japan.

The Japanese company is offering more than $US20 billion for 70 percent of Sprint, a deal that requires federal approval which would be smoothed somewhat if the billion-dollar project to remove the Huawei kit proceeds.

The Chinese vendor's sole presence in the network, according to Saw, was at the edge, in the form of base stations, with Cisco and Ciena handling the network core.

Even at the edge of the network is apparently too close for the Feds.

Only a cynic, or practically anyone whose memory reaches back to the 1990s, would suspect that America was wrapping its own vendors in the flag as a bulwark against international competition. ®

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