Level 3, Clearwire, Cricket OK With Controversial Huawei Equipment

A handful of network service providers in the U.S. are comfortable with gear from China-based Huawei after a warning from Congress about buying telecommunications equipment from Chinese suppliers.

A recent report by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence encourages U.S. companies to avoid buying gear from Huawei and ZTE, fearing the Chinese government might be using it to spy on America. But Level 3 Communications, Cricket Communications and Clearwire all say they have their own security precautions in place to keep that from happening.

"Among other things, we require our infrastructure vendors to submit their equipment and software to extensive testing by a leading third party recognized for vetting critical infrastructure systems," broadband provider Clearwire said in an article by Computerworld. In addition, Clearwire said, the Edge radios it buys from Huawei don’t have a direct connection to the management of its network.

Leap-owned Cricket Communications told the website that while Huawei is one of its vendors, the bulk of its network is not built with equipment from the China-based company; and it, too, has the necessary systems to watch for any security breaches. Level 3 Communications didn’t comment directly on Huawei, but also said it has "an extensive security system."

The federal government has long suspected that the powers-that-be in Beijing have more than just a passing influence in that nation’s large telecommunications equipment suppliers. China called the facts in the Congressional report "groundless."

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