France will Encourage 5G Telcos to Avoid Using 5G Network Equipment by Huawei

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Head of ANSSI, the French cybersecurity agency, said that they will not implement a total ban on using Huawei’s equipment in the rollout of the 5G telecoms network. However, they will be pushing their telcos to avoid switching to the Chinese company.

Les Echos newspaper was told in an interview with Guillaume Poupard, “What I can say is that there won’t be a total ban.” He also added, “(But) for operators that are not currently using Huawei, we are inciting them not to go for it.”

This comes in the wake of a plea by the U.S. government to urge its allies to ban the Chinese telecoms giant from entering the next-generation communications. They have stated that China is using it for spying; however, Huawei has denied the charges.

In March, France will not ban Huawei rather they will seek to keep it out of its core mobile network. As it processes sensitive information such as personal data of customers and carries surveillance risks.

The decision made by France over Huawei’s equipment is considered to be very crucial mostly for the country’s two of the four telecoms operators, SFR and Bouygues Telecom. This is because as much as half of their mobile network equipment today is made by the Chinese group.

In the interview, Poupard said, “For those that are already using Huawei, we are delivering authorizations for durations that vary between three and eight years.” Orange, state-controlled telecom has already chosen the Chinese company’s rivals Europe based Ericsson and Nokia.

From next week, Poupard said that the operators that failed to receive an explicit authorization to use 5G network equipment by Huawei can consider a non-response as a rejection of their requests after the legal deadline. According to Poupard, this decision was made not as an act of hostility but to protect French independence.

Poupard said, “This is not Huawei bashing or anti-Chinese racism.” He added, “All we’re saying is that the risk is not the same with European suppliers as with non-Europeans.”

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