Sprint and Softbank Tell U.S. Gov They’ll Avoid Chinese Network Gear

Posted by at 11:08 am on March 29, 2013

Sprint and Softbank have agreed to unofficial terms requested by the U.S. government with respect to purchasing telecommunications and wireless networking equipment from Chinese vendors such as Huawei and ZTE.

Softbank is in the process of acquiring a 70% stake in Sprint, and the agreement is meant to help ease the transaction though the approval process. Government regulators cannot mandate that Sprint and Softbank avoid equipment made by Chinese companies, but lawmakers wanted to make sure they had an ear to the ground when Sprint is purchasing gear. “I have met with SoftBank and Sprint regarding this merger and was assured they would not integrate Huawei in to the Sprint network and would take mitigation efforts to replace Huawei equipment in the Clearwire network,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

The U.S. government is concerned that equipment made by Huawei and ZTE could be used by the Chinese government to spy on the U.S. Huawei flatly denies that its products pose any sort of security risk.

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