German and then French authorities recently reiterated the idea that Huawei would not be banned from the telecoms market. However, this non-exclusion would not be free from all restrictions.
Huawei still doesn't know which way to dance in Europe. On the one hand, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, said on February 13 that the French government was not against favoring a European equipment supplier. “When we have two operators of 5G equipment suppliers who are European and have quality equipment, it is normal for us to say:" Let’s first see if these European equipment manufacturers can provide us with solutions ", he said on BFM TV. The reference to the Finnish Nokia and the Swedish Ericsson is then quite clear.
However, in another time, the minister wanted to clarify that the Chinese Huawei could also be in the game. "If Huawei has a better offer to present at one time or another from a technical and price point of view, it will be able to have access to 5G in France", he continued, while specifying that sensitive installations (military and nuclear) would be protected from Chinese equipment.
French, Germans and British seem to line up
The French position is thus quite close to German policy on this subject. Although favoring European equipment manufacturers, the authorities across the Rhine wish to avoid having to do without Huawei. In any case, what the agency reported Reuters on February 7. According to federal government indiscretions, the ban on Huawei is not on the agenda, but Berlin is also trying at all costs to guarantee better security for the German 5G network.
This double discourse seems to be the only solution that governments have been able to find in order to spare the goat and the cabbage. To avoid falling too far behind in 5G, few countries can do without the products of the Shenzhen company. In addition, the States are anxious to preserve their security and not to alienate the wrath of the American authorities in declared conflict with Huawei. In late January, the United Kingdom had also accepted the presence of Huawei, but also under conditions.
In France, if Orange and Free have already made it known that, ultimately, they would give up using Huawei in their next 5G equipment, the two other French operators, SFR and Bouygues Telecom, continue to use the services of the Chinese giant. For the United States, the use of Huawei products is no longer conceivable, to the point that a State Department official, Robert Strayer, explained some time ago, that the Americans could help Europe up to 3.5 billion dollars to get rid of Chinese equipment. The development of 5G on our continent has not stopped making a stir.