France imposes de facto ban on Huawei 5G equipment, report says

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French authorities have told telecom operators planning to purchase Huawei 5G equipment that they will not be able to renew licenses for the equipment once they expire, which has the effect of phasing out the Chinese mobile network company, said three sources familiar with the matter. Like other countries in Europe, France is laying the groundwork for its next-generation 5G mobile market amid a growing geopolitical storm between two global superpowers.

The United States says the company’s equipment could be used by the Chinese government for espionage – a charge denied by Huawei and Beijing – and has pressed its allies to ban it.

French cybersecurity agency ANSSI said this month it would allow operators to use equipment, including those from Huawei, under three to eight year licenses. But he added that he was urging telecom operators not currently using the Chinese company’s equipment to avoid switching to him. Operators each have to apply for dozens of licenses for equipment covering different parts of the country. The sources said ANSSI informed operators of most licensing decisions for large cities. They said most of the approvals for Huawei equipment were for three or five years, while most of those for equipment from European rivals Ericsson or Nokia had eight-year licenses. ANSSI’s decisions have not been made public either by the agency or by the companies.

The sources added that the French authorities had also told operators in informal conversations in recent months, not formally stated in the documents, that the licenses granted for Huawei equipment would not be renewed thereafter. ANSSI declined to comment. Such restrictions, however, would amount to a de facto elimination of Huawei from French 5G networks by 2028, given the short timeframe of the licenses, according to the sources, who declined to be named due to sensitivity. of the question. . Huawei declined to comment.



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