As you may have read in the news, an executive order has been issued in the US, prohibiting US companies from buying foreign-made telecommunications equipment deemed a national security risk. The Executive Order did not name China or Chinese companies specifically. However, separately, and soon after the order was signed, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added Huawei and many other affiliates to its “Entity List”, meaning that any US company, person or government agency is prohibited from exporting, re-exporting or transferring hardware, software and technology of US origin to Huawei without a license from BIS. As a consequence, American companies such as Google has carried out restrictions on Huawei to comply with the order.
It is hard to predict the global impact of the latest developments in the US.However one thing is obvious that huawei 5G rollout will have a major blow after this recent development and also for those operators who are aggressively following up with huawei for 5G technology deployment. The GSMA is currently working with relevant stakeholders in Washington to review the ramifications of the US government actions, and trying to identify ways to minimize the impact on mobile operators. Based on their understanding of the current situation, although similar to the restrictions in last year’s ZTE Denial Order, it does not prohibit, for example, the receipt of network hardware or software from Huawei or the receipt of parts and components to repair Huawei-origin equipment already owned by the operator. It also does not necessarily prevent Huawei from using its existing stockpile of equipment that was lawfully obtained prior to the Entity List Designation. As per Google statements, it is likely that end users of existing Huawei devices will continue to benefit from access to Google services (including Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect).
We don’t currently know the full impact of this for mobile operators across the glob. However entire telecom industry is monitoring the situation and seeking further clarification from vendors on potential implications on operations.Organizations are also requesting information both from Huawei and Google in terms of what this potentially could mean for customers with Huawei mobiles. As always, their priority is to continue to deliver the best products and services to their customers.
We Digital Technology Review are seeking to be as transparent as possible with viewers who contact us with questions, but right now we have limited information to offer as we await clarifications. It is too early to provide firm details on how this will impact telcos at this point, and we will provide further updates as soon as we can.