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China's Huawei 'in London Underground Phones Bid'

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LONDON (AFP) – Chinese technology giant Huawei is offering to install for free a mobile phone network worth £50 million on the London Underground train system in time for the 2012 Olympics, a report said Sunday.

Huawei is presenting the offer -- worth the equivalent of $80 million -- as a gift from one Olympic host nation to another, reported the Sunday Times newspaper, without citing its sources.

The company would reportedly install mobile transmitters along the ceilings of tunnels so that travellers can make and receive calls for the first time while underground.

Mobile operators including Vodafone and O2 have agreed to pay for the installation work, while Huawei hopes to earn income in maintenance fees, according to the report.

Transport for London (TfL), the official body responsible for the transport system in the capital, said talks had started on fitting a mobile network on the underground but did not confirm Huawei's involvement.

"Transport for London and the Mayor of London are currently in discussion with mobile phone operators and other suppliers about the potential provision of mobile phone services on the deep Tube network," said a spokesman.

But lawmaker Patrick Mercer, of the Conservative party, warned allowing a Chinese firm to provide the network could pose a security risk.

"It has been proven that a proportion of the cyberattacks on this country come from China," he told the Sunday Times.

"I wonder when the eyes of the world are upon us whether there is sense in using a Chinese firm to install a sensitive mobile network."

Huawei, founded 23 years ago by Ren Zhengfei, a former People's Liberation Army engineer, has long rejected accusations that it has ties to the Chinese military.

It insists it is owned by its employees and that Ren, its chief executive, has less than a two percent stake in the company.

Huawei's technology is used to build mobile phone networks around the world and its consumer products include smart phones that run on Google's Android platform and technology to connect laptops to the Internet using 3G networks.

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I work in this industry and it's a shame to see Huawei becoming so dominate, simply because they reverse engineer other companies products and then give their equipment away for peanuts!

You can manage equipment in band on almost all equipment and I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was some hidden kill command that chinese hackers could send to disable all the Huawei on a network. Half of the new BT 21CN network uses Huawei and I know major carriers use it's DWDM equipment on their back bone.

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I work in this industry and it's a shame to see Huawei becoming so dominate, simply because they reverse engineer other companies products and then give their equipment away for peanuts!

You can manage equipment in band on almost all equipment and I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was some hidden kill command that chinese hackers could send to disable all the Huawei on a network. Half of the new BT 21CN network uses Huawei and I know major carriers use it's DWDM equipment on their back bone.

Explains the Cisco sales problem perhaps?

I was approached by Huawei for work in Sweden and it was very tempting. They are just going to grow and appear keen to sign up talent in Europe.

Then I did some research and discovered that the US and India are basically banning their products out of security fears.

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Mobile phones on London Underground - what a depressing idea.

Having your face jammed next to the fetid armpit of some assclown is bad enough without them yelling "I'M GOING TO BE LATE - I'M STUCK IN A TUNNEL!!!" down the phone every time the friggin' train leaves the station.

It's no wonder people go postal.

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People are obsessed with their phones. They clutch it, look at it, play with it, and checking for text messages which is more important than the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Edited by Money Spinner

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The custom in the Tokyo underground - which is equipped in this way - is that people can text and surf till their heart's content, but no talking.

There really is no need for voice calls these days.

No chance of that here going by the tossers on trains with phones, iPods and the like.

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The custom in the Tokyo underground - which is equipped in this way - is that people can text and surf till their heart's content, but no talking.

There really is no need for voice calls these days.

No chance of that here going by the tossers on trains with phones, iPods and the like.

Buy shares in the companies that sell mobile phone jammers ;)

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...

But lawmaker Patrick Mercer, of the Conservative party, warned allowing a Chinese firm to provide the network could pose a security risk.

"It has been proven that a proportion of the cyberattacks on this country come from China," he told the Sunday Times.

"I wonder when the eyes of the world are upon us whether there is sense in using a Chinese firm to install a sensitive mobile network."

...

Seems like a bit of a pointless remark, these days virtually anything with a chip inside is manufactured in China, whether it's then installed by a Chinese or a UK firm won't change anything if it's already backdoored...

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I work in fixed line telecoms and have considered the possiblities of the Chinese adding up-to-no-good type secret functions into their goods before but at the end of the day I'd be pretty confident that we and/or the Yanks would be able to find them.

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Mobile phones on London Underground - what a depressing idea.

Having your face jammed next to the fetid armpit of some assclown is bad enough without them yelling "I'M GOING TO BE LATE - I'M STUCK IN A TUNNEL!!!" down the phone every time the friggin' train leaves the station.

It's no wonder people go postal.

It's a commie plot I tell ya.

Better where your TFH when using your Oyster Card.

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Seems like a bit of a pointless remark, these days virtually anything with a chip inside is manufactured in China, whether it's then installed by a Chinese or a UK firm won't change anything if it's already backdoored...

ITYF that there is considered to be a big difference between things which the major western companies have designed in the west and simply subcontracted to be built in China, and the things designed by the Chinese

tim

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Is there nothing better that could be done with £50m than allowing people to use their mobile phones on the tube.

Its the one place of sanctuary you can avoid people's inane mobile phone chatter. :ph34r:

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It sounds quite dangerous considering how trance like some mobile phone users are in public these days, walking around completely oblivious to what's going on around them.

Mr Magoos but at least he had an excuse.

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I work in this industry and it's a shame to see Huawei becoming so dominate, simply because they reverse engineer other companies products and then give their equipment away for peanuts!

On the flip side, they have a huge development base which can turn around fixes/product changes much quicker than most western companies. They are also up there with Ericsson on 4G tech so which I agree that they may have had dubious business practices in the past, they also lead in some fields.

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I was approached by Huawei for work in Sweden and it was very tempting. They are just going to grow and appear keen to sign up talent in Europe.

Then I did some research and discovered that the US and India are basically banning their products out of security fears.

I went for an interview at Huawei many years back in Basingstoke. They were offering 50% of my salary at the time and tried to push how great it would be to be in at the start. Sod that ... I kept the old job as no way could I afford to live there on that kind of money.

What sector do you work in? Huawei has 4G trials in Sweden ... so are we in the same business? Do I know you :D

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