Security agency prompts overseas operators to strip out Chinese equipment

24 Oct 2013

According to an unconfirmed report by BFM Business, the French government has asked a number of operators based in French overseas territories to remove unsanctioned Chinese-made telecoms equipment from their respective networks. The mobile operators in question are: Orange, which uses Huawei infrastructure in Reunion and Mayotte; Outremer Telecom, which uses ZTE equipment in Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Reunion and Mayotte; and French Polynesia-based Pacific Mobile Telecom (Vodafone), which utilises Huawei networks.

According to the news report, the decision was made by the Agence Nationale de la Securite des Systemes d’Information (ANSII), which has never granted permission for the use of Huawei or ZTE infrastructure in the overseas territories. The development follows reports of pressure from the government on domestic telecoms firms to support Paris-based vendor Alcatel-Lucent, rather than taking their business overseas. The work to strip out the Chinese equipment is reported to be well underway, although Outremer’s case is complicated by the loans it received from ZTE to bankroll its deployments.