Saturday, 29 February 2020

France to allow Huawei to supply 5G equipment

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 13 February 20

Following the UK’s lead, France is set to allow Huawei restricted access to their 5G networks

The French minister of finance, Bruno Le Maire, has said that France will not bow to US pressure and ban Huawei.   They will, however, restrict the Chinese giant from supplying equipment for critical national infrastructure, like military and nuclear sites. The UK’s approach also has this stipulation…

The French minister of finance, Bruno Le Maire, has said that France will not bow to US pressure and ban Huawei.

 
They will, however, restrict the Chinese giant from supplying equipment for critical national infrastructure, like military and nuclear sites. The UK’s approach also has this stipulation.
 
"Huawei will not be excluded from 5G in France. Everyone can have a place on the market, but we will put limits to protect our sovereignty," said Le Maire.
 
Unlike the UK’s approach, however, it seems as though France does not intend to introduce a cap on Huawei’s RAN presence, which the UK has limited to 35%.
 
On Sunday, the Chinese Embassy called on local authorities to “treat all companies equally”, arguing once again that a fact-based approach must be taken to 5G equipment providers.
 
Nonetheless, the minister hinted that Nokia and Ericsson would likely be preferred by operators because of their locality: "We have two European operators who supply 5G and supply quality equipment. It is normal if we look first if they can provide the solution. And I think our Chinese partners can understand that."
 
Yet he stressed that Huawei would not be discriminated against.
 
“If Huawei has a better offer from a technical point of view or price it can have access to 5G in France,” he said.
 
Orange has already decided against Huawei for its French 5G network, perhaps in part due to the uncertainty around Huawei’s future in Europe. 
 
In this regard, Vodafone has taken the unprompted decision to remove Huawei from its core networks throughout Europe, presumably future proofing its networks against potential government restrictions on Huawei kit.
 
Meanwhile, next door in Germany there is talk that Deutsche Telekom may be looking for reduced reliance on Huawei too, possibly opening the door for a rekindled partnership with Nokia. 
 
Huawei may be getting the green light in France, but it still has work to do to grow partnerships with key international operators.  
 
 
Also in the news: 

 

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