According to the head of the French cybersecurity agency, there won’t be a complete ban on using equipment from Huawei in the rollout of the French 5G telecoms network.
However, French telecos will be pushed to avoid switching to a Chinese OEM.
“What I can say is that there won’t be a total ban,” Guillaume Poupard told Les Echos newspaper in an interview. “(But) for operators that are not currently using Huawei, we are inciting them not to go for it.”- he added.
The U.S. government has urged its allies to exclude the Chinese telecom giants from modernizing the Western world’s communications, stating Beijing could use it for spying. However, Huawei has denied the charges.
On the other hand, France’s decision over equipment made by Hua-wei may eventually hurt two amongst the four telecom operators, named SFR and Bouygues Telecom, as half of their present mobile network is made by the Chinese company.
“For those that are already using Huawei, we are delivering authorisations for durations that vary between three and eight years,” Poupard said in the interview.
On the other hand, state owned telecom operator Orange has already opted to use Huawei’s main European rivals Nokia and Erricson. According to Poupard, from next week, operators who have not received any explicit authorisation in order to use Huawei equipment for the 5G network can consider a non-response after the legal deadline as a rejection of their requests.
“This is not Hua-wei bashing or anti-Chinese racism,” Poupard said. “All we’re saying is that the risk is not the same with European suppliers as with non-Europeans.”- he also added.
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