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France won't ban Huawei gear from its 5G networks but will ask carriers not to install it


Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of networking equipment although some countries like the U.S. are worried about how close the company is to the communist Chinese government. Just the other day we told you that England is now looking to stop the installation of Huawei gear in its 5G networks and also plans on pulling out the company’s equipment that has already been installed. The New York Post today published a story about how France is going to handle the use of Huawei’s industry-leading technology in the country’s 5G pipelines.
Guillaume Poupard, who runs French cybersecurity agency ANNSI, says that the country won’t “totally” ban Huawei from 5G networks in France although it will try to get French carriers not to use the Chinese manufacturer’s gear. Poupard said to a French newspaper, “What I can say is that there won’t be a total ban. (But) for operators that are not currently using Huawei, we are inciting them not to go for it.” He also said, “For those that are already using Huawei, we are delivering authorizations for durations that vary between three and eight years.”

Earlier this year, sources told Reuters that while France wouldn’t ban Huawei, it would try to keep its gear out of the country’s core mobile networks. These networks carry the personal data belonging to customers of the country’s wireless companies which means that keeping Huawei equipment from these networks is of paramount importance. That’s because Huawei has been accused of using its networking gear to spy on consumers and corporations and send the data to Beijing. No evidence of this has ever been discovered and Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations.

What France decides to do will be critical to half of the country’s four major wireless providers; about 50% of the networks employed by carriers Bouygues Telecom and SFR use Huawei’s technology. Orange, which is controlled by the French government, has decided to use equipment supplied by Huawei rivals Nokia and Ericsson.

The head of ANNSI said that starting next week, wireless operators who have yet to receive authorization to use Huawei equipment for their 5G networks should consider a non-response to be a rejection of their request. Poupard stated, “This is not Huawei bashing or anti-Chinese racism. All we’re saying is that the risk is not the same with European suppliers as with non-Europeans.”

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