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What will be the future of Huawei in France?

Authorities in France have given bad news to their telecom operators who are looking forward to buying 5G equipment manufactured by Huawei. The authorities said that they won’t be able to renew licenses for the gear after they expire. This step is taken to effectively phase out the Chinese firm out of mobile networks. Apart from France other countries in Europe are also laying the ground for its next-generation 5G mobile market. 5G is in process at a time when there is a rising geopolitical tension between two global superpowers- The United States and China.

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The United States has alleged Huawei with security threats saying that the company’s equipment could be used by the Chinese government for espionage and has pressed its allies to ban it. However, the company has denied the charge.

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ANSSI which is France’s cybersecurity agency, this month, said that it would give permissions to its operators to use Huawei’s equipment while at the same time it asked the telecom companies who are not using the Chinese company’s products as of now to avoid switching to it. This equipment would be made available under licenses of three to eight years. The operators have already been informed by ANSSI of most license decisions for large cities. Huawei gear received the bulk of authorizations only for three or five years.

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On the other hand, most of the equipment from European counterparts such as Ericsson or Nokia got access to eight-year licenses. It is also of important consideration that ANSSI’s decisions are still to be made public. It is estimated that by levying such harsh restrictions, France would put a de facto phase-out of Huawei within the country’s 5G networks by the year 2028. When asked about their stand on this extremely sensitive matter the Chinese leading company, Huawei declined to make any comments.

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