November 25, 2019 / 3:24 PM / 19 days ago

France will not exclude China's Huawei from 5G rollout - minister

A Huawei logo and a 5G sign are pictured at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

PARIS (Reuters) - France will not follow the United States and exclude China’s Huawei from its next-generation 5G network, but will have the power to vet all equipment makers for any potential security threat, a minister said on Monday.

French telecoms regulator Arcep kicked off the long-awaited sale of 5G spectrum on Thursday, ending months of intense debate between the country’s telecoms operators and authorities on how to best deploy the new ultra-fast mobile internet technology.

“We do not target one equipment maker,” Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told BFM Business television on Monday. “There is no exclusion.”

“There are three equipment makers active in France. Huawei has a 25% market share, there is also Nokia and Ericsson. Samsung is not active yet in France but is interested by 5G,” said Pannier-Runacher.

“The government will not exclude anyone. We are not following the position of the United States,” she added. “We will proceed on a case by case basis

Telecoms operators will have to seek permission from the prime minister for their 5G network projects, and receive clearance based on national security considerations.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Pravin Char

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