FCC will listen to views on 'security risk' Huawei and ZTE until February

(Image credit: Future)

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will accept comments on a ruling that declares Huawei and ZTE to be a national security risk until 3 February.

In November, the FCC declared Huawei to be a national security risk and voted on a measure that requires US operators to remove and replace Huawei kit in their networks. A fund of $8.5 billion has been established to cover the cost.

Chinese vendors have largely been excluded from the US market due to ongoing concerns about security, with major carriers opting to use radio equipment from Ericsson, Nokia and others.

Huawei FCC

However a number of smaller providers use kit from Huawei and ZTE because it is relatively inexpensive. The Rural Wireless Association, which represents operators with fewer than 100,000 customers, estimates a quarter of its members have Chinese-made kit in their networks.

Huawei is challenging the ruling in the US court system and the FCC has said it will consider public responses before finalising the ruling later this year. In its submission to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Huawei says the FCC did not provide sufficient evidence to support its claims and ignored submissions that highlighted how the ruling would harm US operators. In any case, Huawei says the FCC lacks the authority to make such a judgement.

US hostilities towards Huawei have increased over the past year with Huawei also banned from dealing with US firms. The ban on dealing with US suppliers has limited Huawei’s access to key technologies such as Google’s Android’s operating system and has been a blow to its ambition of becoming the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer.

Huawei has frequently denied any allegations that its products are a security risk, while Washington has produced no evidence of any wrongdoing.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.