The French government has told telecoms operators to avoid equipment made by Huawei, warning that licenses granted for the Chinese company’s gear will not be renewed once they expire, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing three sources.

Why it matters: France will effectively phase out the Shenzhen-based company’s equipment out from its next-generation 5G networks by 2028, following a similar decision by the United Kingdom this month.

Details: The French National Cybersecurity Authority (ANSSI) told a French newspaper this month it was urging telecoms operators not currently using Huawei equipment to avoid switching to it, though it would give licenses that could be valid for three to eight years.

  • Operators were told by French authorities during informal conversations in recent months that licenses granted for Huawei gear would not be renewed after they expire, Reuters reports.
  • The bulk of approvals for Huawei equipment were for three to five years, while most of those for equipment from Swedish company Ericsson and Finnish company Nokia received eight-year licenses, the story’s sources said.
  • The restrictions would amount to a de facto phase-out of the Chinese company’s equipment within France’s 5G networks by 2028, said the sources.

Context: Following years of pressure from the United States, more European governments are moving to exclude Huawei from 5G networks.

  • The British government ordered telecom operators last week to remove existing Huawei equipment from their 5G networks by 2027, and banned Huawei gear from the country’s 5G network rollout.

READ MORE: “Five eyes” look in different directions on Huawei

Wei Sheng

Wei Sheng is a Beijing-based reporter covering hardware, smartphone, and telecommunications, along with regulations and policies related to the China tech scene. Before joining TechNode, he wrote about...