Mobile telecoms provider Three has announced a management agreement deal with Chinese ICT provider Huawei.
The five-year contract, worth £120m, will see Huawei deliver service management for Three's core network in the UK, ICT applications and the transport network. The contract, previously held by Ericsson, will see a number of permanent positions transfer to the Chinese firm.
"The decision to select Huawei to manage core network operations follows a rigorous procurement process," said Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK, which carries 43 per cent of mobile data traffic in the UK.
"We chose the partner that best met our requirements and which matched our long-term vision of how our network should be managed.
"This partnership is just one of a series that sees us enhance the capability of our Ultrafast network. The partnership means the existing team will continue to support the management of our core network," he added.
Huawei CEO Victor Zhang welcomed the deal with Three as an opportunity to develop the company's capabilities in the UK.
"Huawei is very pleased to be selected by Three for the operations management of its core network," he said.
"The agreement is an important step in building a world-class managed services capability. Huawei has been in the UK for 11 years and by focusing on the needs of our customers, we continue to develop and grow our business."
Huawei has selected Indian firm Tech Mahindra as its partner to deliver ICT applications management in the UK.
The UK deal with Three comes despite Huawei being treated with suspicion by other nations. Australia has barred the Chinese telecoms provider from contracts to work on its national broadband network, while a year-long investigation by US Congress labelled Huawei a security threat. The report suggested Chinese firms can't be trusted to be independent of the Chinese government and military.
Huawei offered to give Australia unrestricted access to its software source code and equipment in an effort to improve its reputation.