THE ONGOING BRINKMANSHIP between the US and China has taken a rather weird turn.
A while ago, you may recall that Huawei proposed a solution to its current state of personae non grata in the US, which was to licence it to Western firms.
Turns out, the idea had legs and according to a report in Reuters, talks have begun, aimed at licensing its 5G technology to US firms in order to give them more control over its deployment and better visibility of "that" firmware.
During a visit to Washington this week, Vincent Pang, senior vice president at Huawei told reporters that unnamed telcos had shown an interest in the proposal and that talks were in the very, very early stages.
"There are some companies talking to us, but it would take a long journey to really finalize everything," he explained.
Last month, the State Department poo-pooed the idea: "It's just not realistic that carriers would take on this equipment and then manage all of the software and hardware themselves," it grumbled
"If there are software bugs that are built into the initial software, there would be no way to necessarily tell that those are there and they could be activated at any point, even if the software code is turned over to the mobile operators,"
But clearly, the telecoms industry has a different outlook. It's generally agreed that, regardless of security risks and design flaws, Huawei is the market leader in the field of 5G telecoms equipment.
That, combined with the fact that it is also the cheapest, often, means that it had already signed a lot of deals and sold a lot of equipment before the trade war with China began.
The US Government recently announced a fund to help smaller carriers to remove existing Huawei equipment without leaving themselves in financial strife. µ
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