Clearwire Corporation, an international firm that offers wireless services in the United States, said that it will be upgrading its network infrastructure using the gears of the controversial Chinese-based Huawei. The planned upgrade will start in2013.
The said upgrade was given a nod by the United States government. Clearwire said that the plans were reviewed “with the technical arms of multiple federal agencies”. It also emphasized that the company has “great respect for the U.S. government and their oversight role over the nation’s infrastructure.”
The decision of the U.S. government happened after the a congressional panel alleged that Huawei can potentially spy for China if it will be allowed to install its hardware on the country’s communication network.
Sprint Nextel is the biggest customer and shareholder of Clearwire. Sprint offers critical telecom services to the United States government. Plans of a takeover by Softbank Corporation urged Sprint to use Clearwire’s important high-speed network to improve its services across the country.
Clearwire is currently using Huawei’s networking equipment for its service. It plans to continue using the Chinese firm’s technology to boost its network in markets where Huawei gear are already in place.
Clearwire Chief Technology Officer John Saw said that his company’s budget to buy Huawei gear only represents 5 percent of the total budget for the said upgrade of its network. Clearwire is planning to upgrade to Long Term Evolution Technology (LTE). Saw also said that Huawei is “materially reducing their footprint” for its LTE network.
A statement from Clearwire assures the U.S. government that it will require the vendors to pass extensive testing of all of their software and equipment. A third party company is tapped by the United States government to check critical infrastructure networks to test security standards.
Clearwire plans to go ahead with the upgrade on June 2013.
Other vendors involved in the upgrade are Cisco Systems, Ciena Corporation, and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics.
Swedish company Ericsson will provide maintenance capability for the network.