Bouygues will remove 3,000 Huawei mobile antennas in France by 2028 | News

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Par Mathieu Rosemain

PARIS (Reuters) – Bouygues will replace 3,000 mobile antennas made by Huawei in France by 2028 following a decision by the country’s authorities to remove equipment made by the Chinese company from heavily populated areas, the chief executive said on Thursday deputy of Bouygues.

The United States says Huawei equipment can be used by China for espionage, an allegation the company denies but which has led many Washington allies to impose restrictions on the company.

French authorities have told telecom operators planning to purchase Huawei 5G equipment that they will not be able to renew the licenses for the equipment once they expire, thereby eliminating the Chinese group from the mobile networks of by 2028, three sources told Reuters last month.

“A number of sites will have to be gradually dismantled,” Bouygues deputy general manager Olivier Roussat told reporters during a call, adding that there were 3,000 sites with Huawei equipment.

“The decommissioning will be carried out over a period of eight years, with a limited impact on our operating results,” said Roussat.

Bouygues, which also released better-than-expected first-half results on Thursday, did not say what equipment from the company it would use instead of Huawei.

Roussat said Huawei’s mobile equipment was already banned in the cities of Brest, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Rennes. Mobile equipment manufactured by the Chinese firm cannot be used in Paris either.

Bouygues, whose business spans media, construction and telecoms, has repeatedly said it will seek compensation from the French state if it needs to replace Huawei equipment.

Asked about it, Roussat said discussions were currently underway with French authorities, declining to comment further.

He said the group had also launched several parallel legal proceedings against the French state. The deputy CEO said the bans so far have only targeted heavily populated areas.

(Report by Mathieu Rosemain. Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter)

    

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