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Sprint, Softbank vow not to use Huawei gear in Sprint's network

U.S. government was reportedly seeking oversight of network equipment purchases as a condition for approval of the $20 billion acquisition.

In response to national security concerns, Sprint Nextel and Softbank pledged not to incorporate gear from Huawei Technologies into Sprint's network core, the chairman of the House intelligence committee said today.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the committee, said he had met with representatives from both companies and was assured that equipment from the Chinese telecommunications gear maker would not be used in the U.S. cellular infrastructure. As a condition for approving Softbank's $20 billion acquisition of Sprint, the U.S. government was reportedly seeking oversight of network equipment purchases to exclude equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

"I am pleased with their mitigation plans, but will continue to look for opportunities to improve the government' existing authorities to thoroughly review all the national security aspects of proposed transactions," Rogers said in a statement. Rogers also said the pair would also focus on replacing Huawei equipment used by Clearwire, which Sprint is buying for $2.2 billion.

Rogers also said he expects the companies to make similar pledges to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews the national security concerns of foreign investments in U.S. companies.

The two Chinese telecom gear makers -- Huawei and ZTE -- have been roundly criticized by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, which released a report last October that accused the two of being threats to U.S. security and that discouraged U.S. companies from buying their equipment. In January, the U.S. Department of Justice asked the Federal Communications Commission to defer Softbank's deal for Sprint, citing a review of national security concerns.