HUAWEI-FRANCE-5G: France will partially authorize Huawei for 5G
by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic
PARIS (Reuters) – France will allow telecom operators to use part of Huawei’s equipment to deploy 5G despite calls by the US government to ban the Chinese equipment supplier, two sources have learned from the source. folder.
Paris must imminently issue its first green lights to requests for equipment made by operators who have the choice between European groups Nokia and Ericsson and Huawei for the deployment of the latest generation of mobile technology.
If officially no equipment manufacturer is banned in France, some sector players fear that Huawei is “de facto” banned from the 5G market which will allow new uses in strategic sectors such as connected vehicles, l industry or telemedicine.
According to the two sources, who requested anonymity, the National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi), responsible for controlling 5G telecom equipment, will approve Huawei equipment, but only for non-sensitive parts of the company. network, like antennas, considered to pose less security risks.
“They don’t want to ban Huawei, but the principle is: ‘you have to get them out of the network,'” said one of the sources.
The core network is considered strategic in a mobile infrastructure, in particular because it is equipped with software processing sensitive data including that of users.
ANSSI and the Ministry of the Economy did not wish to comment on this information.
Anssi’s verdict is crucial for operators SFR (Altice) and Bouygues Telecom (Bouygues), a large part of the network of which is already equipped with Huawei equipment. The number one Orange and Free (Iliad ILD.PA) have chosen European equipment manufacturers for 5G.
Huawei is at the heart of a controversy fueled by the United States, which accuses the group of espionage activities on behalf of Beijing, which the world’s leading telecoms equipment supplier denies. Its deployment has become an international geopolitical issue, especially in Europe, where the question of a ban on the Chinese group is debated. France followed in the footsteps of Great Britain, which authorized the Chinese equipment supplier at the end of January to play a limited role in the implementation of 5G. “High risk” suppliers will be authorized to play a role in the “non-sensitive” areas of the 5G network, their involvement will be limited to 35% and they will be excluded from all sensitive networks and places. According to a sector source, restrictions will also apply in France, in application of the guidelines drawn up by the European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton. The latter notably encouraged operators not to select “suppliers at risk” in capitals, in military zones or near a nuclear power plant, for example. Authorizations from Anssi were initially expected in February, but its experts asked operators many questions, the sources said.
At the end of February, Huawei announced that it wanted to build its first large factory outside of China in France, which could create around 500 direct jobs.
(Edited by Christian Lowe and Jean-Stephane Brosse)