France is kicking Huawei to the curb.
The Chinese technology company, one of the early entrants into the 5G era with a $600 million investment in the latest standard for cellular networks, will be out of business in France in eight years.
French authorities have informed telecom operators planning to buy Huawei’s 5G equipment that their licenses for the equipment will not be renewed, which would ultimately put an end to Huawei’s mobile networks in the country, sources told Reuters.
France, like many other European nations, is in the midst of installing the next-generation 5G mobile market amid global dissent.
The National Cybersecurity Agency of France (ANSSI) said this month that it would permit operators to use 5G equipment, including Huawei’s, with licenses ranging from three to eight years. But ANSSI also recommended that telecoms not using the Chinese company’s equipment should avoid making the switch to Huawei, the news service reported.
The U.S. has warned that Huawei’s equipment could be leveraged by the Chinese government to covertly collect intelligence and has urged allies to prohibit it. Huawei and Beijing have denied the allegation.
ANSSI and Huawei declined to comment, Reuters reported.
Two French companies that use Huawei’s gear for their mobile networks, Bouygues Telecom and Altice Europe’s SFR, have said that if they must replace part of their grid, it would come with a high price tag, and that they would ask the French government for reimbursement, the report stated.
Orange and Iliad, France’s two other major telecom operators, rely primarily on Nokia and/or Ericsson to power their mobile networks. Those two providers declined to comment.
In an interview with PYMNTS in April, Huawei’s Paul Scanlan, chief technology officer, said that 5G is about more than speed. Along with increased efficiencies, he noted, a 5G base station can have thousands of employees running data at hundreds of megabits per second. Scanlan added that 5G also has the capability to bring internet access to rural America, giving operators the chance to service 30 percent to 40 percent more customers, along with the benefits of low latency and high rates of connectivity.