France won’t ban Huawei but encouraging 5G telcos to avoid it, report says

The head of the French cybersecurity agency ANSSI, Guillaume Poupard, announces the intention to not totally ban the usage of Huawei’s equipment for the French 5G telecoms network, but French telcos are invited to avoid the adoption of Chinese company’s technology.

Guillaume Poupard said to Les Echos newspaper in an interview: โ€œwhat I can say is that there wonโ€™t be a total ban, (But) for operators that are not currently using Huawei, we are inciting them not to go for it.โ€

The U.S. government is pushing its allies to avoid that the Chinese telco will have a part in the Westโ€™s next-generation communications, since Beijing would use it for spying, prompting the reaction of Huawei in denying the charges.

France would not ban Huawei but would seek to limit its presence from the core mobile network, as Reuters reported from sources in March, since the higher surveillance risks of the presence of sensitive information as customersโ€™ personal data.

Bouygues Telecom and SFR, two of the countryโ€™s four telecoms operators, have about half of their current mobile network made by the Chinese group and Franceโ€™s decision over Huaweiโ€™s equipment would result crucial for those two companies.

โ€œFor those that are already using Huawei, we are delivering authorisations for durations that vary between three and eight years,โ€ Poupard said in the interview.

On the contrary state-controlled Orange has already opted in favor of Nokia and Ericsson, the European competitors of Huawei.

According to next week Poupard’s statement, operators not receiving an explicit authorisation to adopt Huawei 5G network equipment can consider the absence of a reply past the legal deadline as a rejection of the request.

Poupard said the choice has not to be seen as an act of hostility towards China, but as made to protect French independence.

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