Huawei will appeal exclusion from US network rollout

(Image credit: Future)

Huawei is set to challenge a decision made by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that prevents mobile operators in the country from using government funds to buy its telecommunications networking equipment.

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

However a number of smaller providers use kit from Huawei and ZTE because it is relatively inexpensive.

Huawei FCC

However following the decision by Washington to ban American companies from dealing with Huawei on national security ground, authorities are reviewing the situation. Last week, the FCC voted on a measure that requires US operators to remove and replace Huawei kit in their networks.

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 and estimates it could cost up to $1 billion to replace it.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Shenzhen-based firm plans to file an appeal, something it must do within 30 days of the vote. Specifically, it is said a suit will be filed at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana. Huawei is not commenting on the speculation, but it is expected that the firm will make an announcement next week.

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

Meanwhile, US companies want to be able to do business with the Chinese firm, arguing that the sanctions have cut off a valuable source of revenue. The US government has eased its stance slightly, promising to issue licences to firms who want to sell non-sensitive goods.

It is now thought that the US Commerce Department has received 300 applications, of which half have been processed. Half of these submissions have been approved with the other half rejected. The most high profile recipient of a licence to date has been Microsoft, which supplies the Windows 10 operating system for Huawei laptops.

Via Wall Street Journal

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.