Tech firms 'limit' engineer discussions with Huawei on 5G standards

(Image credit: Shutterstock) (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Several major technology firms, including Intel and Qualcomm, have reportedly told staff to cease informal discussions with Huawei over 5G standards in a bid to comply with a recent US government ruling.

Last month, the US Commerce Department prohibited American firms from doing business with Huawei, a move which means the company’s handsets will no longer receive updates for the Android operating system from Google or access to its popular applications.

The consequences of the ruling are far-reaching, with British-based chip designer ARM reportedly telling its employees to suspend all activities with Huawei, and it appears as though others are following suit.

Huawei 5G

Informal discussions between engineers from rival companies are commonplace when it comes to defining technical standards, such as 5G, as staff feel they have greater freedom than they would in a more formal setting.

The US has already relaxed its ruling slightly to ensure that US firms can communicate with Huawei in standards bodies discussions, but it is feared that the convention of informal communication is under threat and could lead to fragmentation.

Although early standards of 5G have been agreed, allowing the first next-generation networks to go live in Asia, Europe and North America, future iterations of the specification will allow for the truly revolutionary applications such as connected cars and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

South Korean operator LG Uplus told Reuters it was “voluntarily refraining from interacting with Huawei workers, other than meeting for network equipment installation or maintenance issues.”

TechRadar Pro has contacted both Qualcomm and Intel for comment.

Via Reuters

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.