Bouygues, Altice start removing Huawei equipment from their networks

5 Mar 2021

Bouygues Telecom and Altice France (SFR) have reportedly begun the process of removing Huawei equipment from their networks, after unsuccessful legal efforts to challenge France’s stricter security policy for future 5G networks, Bloomberg reports. In February 2021, France’s Constitutional Council backed Law No. 2019-810 of 1 August 2019 (the so-called ‘anti-Huawei law’) – introduced by the government to safeguard the interests of defence and national security in connection with the operation of mobile radio networks. The new legislation enforces an authorisation regime with powers to restrict the use of 5G infrastructure equipment on national defence and security grounds; in particular, the use of all Chinese equipment is limited by authorisations issued by the government and must end by 2028 at the latest. Bouygues Telecom and Altice, which both rely on Chinese equipment vendor Huawei for a large proportion of their respective networks, were given the green light to bring the case before the State Council in November 2020; the duo were informed in September, however, that they would not be compensated for Huawei equipment already deployed on their networks.