France will launch 5G in France in 2020 as planned says the Chairman of Arcep, the telecoms watchdog, despite problems with Chinese manufacturer Huawei which could lead some French telecom operators to change their suppliers.
Washington last Thursday imposed a ban on the sale or transfer of American technology to Huawei, claiming that the China-based company posed a national security threat.
Google has said it will comply with the US restrictions, and bar Huawei from access to some core components of Android and its proprietary services.
Hundreds of millions of Huawei phones and tablets around the world could be impacted as a result.
But Arcep chairman Sébastien Soriano told financial analysts and journalists on Tuesday that in his opinion the ban would “have only a very gradual impact”.
He pointed out that no French telecoms operator relied exclusively on Huawei in major cities in France.
“We are planning on rolling out 5G in 2020,” he confirmed, underlining that Arcep would be flexible on the schedule for deploying the fastest mobile broadband should some operators opt to change their equipment manufacturer.
5G frequencies would be attributed before the end of the year, he said.
The minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, said that the choice of 5G telecom equipment manufacturers will be made in relation to network security and performance, adding that no candidate would be excluded a priori.