Guillaume Poupard, head of French cyber security agency ANSSI, said on Sunday that France would not ban Huawei’s equipment entirely during the laying of its 5G telecommunications network, but the agency is urging the company to avoid purchasing Huawei’s equipment,media reported. “All I can say is that there will be no blanket ban,” Mr Puppard said. But for operators that do not currently use Huawei devices, we encourage them not to try. “
The U.S. government has urged its allies to exclude Huawei from the West’s next-generation communications network. Sources said in March that France would not ban Huawei, but would seek to exclude it from its core mobile network, which handles sensitive information such as customer personal data and therefore has a higher monitoring risk.
France’s decision to use Huawei’s devices is crucial for two of the country’s four telecom operators, Bouygues Telecom and SFR, because about half of the mobile network equipment they currently use is made by Huawei. “For those who are already using Huawei devices, we will provide them with authorizations ranging from three to eight years, ” Mr. Puppard said. “
Orange, the French state-controlled telecommunications company, has opted for equipment from Huawei’s European rivals Nokia and Ericsson. Mr Puppard said operators that had not received a clear authorization to use Huawei devices for 5G networks from next week could consider not responding to their requests after the statutory deadline.
Mr. Puppard said the choice was made to protect France’s independence, not hostility.