Huawei Blacklist Could Impact 5G Standards

The 5G standards body has warned that a ban on Huawei could have “a dramatic impact” on future standardization, while analysts believe it could lead to a split in the development of the technology.

Last month, the Trump administration added the Chinese telecom company to a blacklist, which means it won’t conduct trade with the company, and will make it difficult for Huawei to do business with companies in the U.S. As a result, Google is reportedly halting a business relationship with Huawei, which means the smartphone company will lose access to updates to the Android operating system, as well as access to the Google Play Store, YouTube and Gmail.

“We cannot speculate on what will happen, but if the current situation prevails, this could have a dramatic impact on future standardization,” said Adrian Scrase, who leads 3GPP’s support team, according to the Financial Times.

In addition, analysts see several risks in the ban, including a break of the global standard system. In fact, Edison Lee, analyst at Jefferies, warned that there is a chance that U.S. companies will pull out of standards body if the Huawei ban remains in effect.

“If Chinese companies are prohibited from licensing technologies that they have already seen (and which, in many cases, they have heavily influenced), [the risk is] they could just use it,” he said.

Bin Liu, analyst at Citibank, added that there is also a risk of China creating its own standards, pointing to Japan’s decision to develop its cordless Personal Handy-phone System 20 years ago.

“This is a bad lesson, because Japanese equipment vendors lost opportunities after that,” he said. “But one of the influencing factors for China is that it has a big market, and already has some technological abilities, so may be different from Japan.”