France gives Huawei the go ahead to play a role in its national 5G rollout

Published: 14 February 2020 - 11:27 a.m.

France’s Minister of Economy and Finance has confirmed that the government will not exclude Chinese tech giant from its nationwide 5G rollout.

Speaking to members of the press, Bruno Le Maire said that the French government would impose restrictions on vendors to protect the country’s sovereignty and security but would stop short of banning specific vendors.

"Huawei will not be excluded from 5G in France. Everyone can have a place on the market, but we will put limits to protect our sovereignty," Xinhua quoted Le Maire as saying.

"It's understandable that we could prioritise a European operator," he added.

France’s biggest telco, Orange has already confirmed that it will go with Ericsson and Nokia for its 5G launch next year, but the ruling still presents a huge opportunity for Huawei with SFR, Bouygues and Iliad all yet to name their official 5G partners. With 50 million subscribers between them, France’s second, third and fourth biggest mobile network operators account for around 60 per cent of the market.

Huawei has recently received approval from both the British and the German government’s to participate in their respective 5G rollout campaigns, as European allies resist calls from the US to ban Huawei.

The US has waged a war of words against the world’s biggest 5G vendor, claiming that Huawei’s network equipment is more easily hackable than that of its competitors. Huawei strongly refutes this allegation.

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