The French government will not impose a complete ban on the use of Huawei technology in the country's 5G network, but it would encourage French telcos to avoid using the equipment manufactured by the Shenzhen firm, Guillaume Poupard, ANSSI's head, said. Similarly, The Telegraph reported yesterday that Boris Johnson would begin phasing out the use of Huawei's technology in Britain's 5G network in as little as six months, though the country's health minister later said that the firm must meet conditions for the continuance of its involvement. Poupard said:
“What I can say is that there won’t be a total ban. (But) for operators that are not currently using Huawei, we are inciting them not to go for it.”
Previously, it was believed that France would keep Huawei out of its core mobile network, which carries higher surveillance perils because it processes sensitive data including citizens' personal information. This decision severely impacts Bouygues Telecom and SFR, two of France's four telecoms operators, as roughly half of their current infrastructure is supported by Huawei. Poupard stated:
“For those that are already using Huawei, we are delivering authorizations for durations that vary between three and eight years.”
State-owned Orange has already opted for Huawei's competitors Ericsson and Nokia. Starting next week, telecom operators that haven't received explicit permission to use Huawei equipment for the 5G network may consider the non-response as a rejection of their request after the legal deadline passes. Poupard also said the decision was made in an attempt to protect the country's independence.