Reuters reports French operators cannot renew licences to use the Chinese vendors’ kit once they expire in a maximum of eight years’ time.
Reuters said that although French operators can use Huawei equipment now, those that do not use it already are being discouraged from going down that route by the security authorities.
Those who do use the company’s equipment have been licensed by the security authorities to use it for between three and five years, but it seems their licences will not be renewed when they expire.
French government security regulations mean operators receive licences for particular elements of infrastructure in different parts of the country.
The Trump Administration has pressurised countries around the world not to include Huawei or ZTE equipment in their national infrastructure citing security grounds and fears it would be used for espionage by the Chinese state.
After dithering for months, the UK government finally decided that Huawei equipment is to be phased out of national infrastructure over the next seven years, reversing earlier decisions to allow a limited presence.
The UK has special circumstances that don’t apply to France and other European countries, such as Brexit and needing all the trading friends outside Europe that it can get, as well as rising tension with China due to its actions regarding Hong Kong.
Even so, the UK’s decision has sent ripples across Europe regarding Huawei as the apparent decision by France to phase out the Chinese vendor’s equipment indicates.
In neighbouring Germany, Europe’s biggest operator Deutsche Telekom (DT) is committed in to Huawei and embroiled in something approaching a scandal after details of its relationship with the Chinese vendor regarding 5G were revealed in leaked documents.
Ericsson’s announcement yesterday that it is working with DT to build out its 5G network is interesting in that context