Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

US Threatens Telcos to Avoid Huawei or Lose Government Contracts

US Threatens Telcos to Avoid Huawei or Lose Government Contracts

At the start of the month, the carrier binned plans to sell Huawei handsets to customers when members of Congress complained about the idea to federal regulatory bodies. It's unclear whether or how much AT&T was collaborating with Huawei on 5G; the company was reportedly working with Qualcomm and Ericsson prior to announcing its end of 2018 5G network plans, but could easily have had other partners. Another is the use of Huawei handsets by AT&T's discount subsidiary Cricket, the aides said. According to two congressional aides, USA lawmakers are taking steps to hamper any plans by China Mobile extend their telecom operations to the us, over similar fears of over national security. The reason reportedly revolves around national security concerns, with officials fearing that Huawei could be a company compromised by the Chinese government.

In related news, a pair of U.S. Representatives recently introduced a bill that would effectively bar the U.S. government from using Huawei or ZTE smartphones at all and from contracting work from either company.

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"We hope that China and the United States can work hard together to maintain the healthy and stable development of trade and business ties. This accords with the joint interests of both", Lu told a daily news briefing in Beijing. I realize the importance for national security, and the United States govt. doesn't want China tracking U.S. citizens, but Huawei phones are now available on basically all major carriers outside of the USA (45 of the world's top 50 carriers, to be exact) and there doesn't seem to be a major issue with that.

Additionally AT&T is being asked to oppose plans to let China Mobile enter the US market, calling into question the fate of the telecom's application before the Federal Communications Commission, the report said.

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Huawei and Chinese telecom firms have long struggled to gain a toehold in the US market, partly because of USA government pressure on potential USA partners.

While Trump administration protectionism might otherwise be blamed for the recent Congressional actions, investigations into Huawei's and ZTE's potential threats to critical US infrastructure date back to at least 2012, when 60 Minutes and the aforementioned House report spotlighted the concerns.

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