The chairman of French operator Bouygues Telecom told media the company planned to replace the 3,000 Huawei antennas used in its network over the next eight years, a move Reuters stated was a response to state attempts to phase out the vendor’s kit.
During a press conference Olivier Roussat, who is also deputy CEO of parent Bouygues, said the sites would “have to be dismantled”, albeit gradually. The company expects limited financial impact.
Despite concerted pressure applied by US to its allies, France did not slap an immediate ban on the use of Huawei kit in 5G and has reportedly issued local licences for between three and eight years.
In the wake of the UK’s u-turn on allowing the vendor to supply 5G kit, the head of France’s National Agency for the Security of Information Systems Guillaume Poupard told newspaper Les Echos there would be no outright Huawei ban.
Poupard noted, though, operators not already using Huawei equipment were being discouraged from buying it.
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