Optus AAPT, Telstra and Vodafone TPG are facing new problems after the US Commerce Department announced additional restrictions overnight that will affect the thousands of Chinese routers and switches that they are selling from high risk networking Company Huawei.
Neither carrier and several network suppliers are telling clients that Huawei gear is being installed in their networks or the risks associated with the Chinese technology.
Going forward Huawei will not be able to get access to US components or commercially available chips, the latest move in an increasingly tense relationship between the world’s two biggest economies.
The US Federal Government along with the Australian and UK Government are so concerned about the risks associated with Huawei technology that they placed restrictions on the use of their equipment.
Now they have moved to add 38 Huawei affiliates in 21 countries to an economic blacklist as the U.S. seeks to limit adoption of the company’s 5G technology.
“We don’t want their equipment in the United States because they spy on us,” President Donald Trump said last night.
The restrictions are likely to further hit both Huawei’s 5G base stations smartphone businesses and the wireless gear being spruiked by Telstra CEO Andy Penn. At no stage has Penn told the media or Telstra customers that there are risks associated in selling Huawei 5G MM Wave technology.
The problem for Huawei and their partners in Australia, is that their equipment relies heavily on foreign processors and the latest bans blunt China’s ambition to play a key role in global rollout of 5G technology. Huawei’s stockpiles of certain self-designed chips essential to Vodafone TPG, Optus and Telstra will run out early in 2021.
Bloomberg claims that Nokia and Ericsson stand to benefit from Huawei’s problems while domestic smartphone rivals including Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are likely to get a bigger pie of the Chinese market.
Last week Huawei announced that they will not continue trying to develop their own Kirin processor to replace products from Qualcomm.
The company has long rejected accusations that its technology can be used to spy on foreign nations or companies.
All chip companies working for Huawei, no matter where they are, will be subject to licenses, a Commercial official said, adding that even foreign companies will be affected as long as they use U.S. design software and equipment.
That means major Asian and European chip companies such as MediaTek, Samsung Electronics, NXP Semiconductors, and STMicroelectronics may need a license to continue shipping to Huawei, though the official declined to name any specific company.
John Neuffer, the president and chief executive officer of the U.S.’s Semiconductor Industry Association, said the rule “will bring significant disruption” to the sector.
Additionally, assemblers that incorporate Huawei or third-party chips into their devices for the benefit of Huawei will also need to apply for a license, according to the Commerce official. That means Huawei smartphones assemblers, including Hong Kong-listed Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile Ltd., may be restricted by the new rules.