Huawei Offers Mobile Network On London Underground

Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei is at the forefront of bidding to install mobile phone transmitters in London Underground tube stations for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics.

The Sunday Times reports that the company is wooing the government by pitching in the £50 million mobile phone fee that would would offer wireless network for free to tube users.

UK wireless networks Vodafone and O2 are bidding to install the equipment, while Huawei is looking to bag the contract for maintaining the network.

In a statement the company said, "Due to business confidentiality, we are unable to comment on the project at this point, but I can confirm that we are involved in the bidding process. The UK is an important market for Huawei."

However, there are some in the government that believe that allowing a Chinese firm to work on something as crucial as the underground wireless network might not be a wise idea.

“It has been proven that a proportion of the cyberattacks on this country come from China. 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,” Conservative MP Patrick Mercer told the Sunday Times.

The company itself has pointed out that it is privately owned and has no link to the government of China.