Back in February, before the rest of the world were put on lockdown, the U.S. Commerce Department gave Huawei a 45-day reprieve. It was continued but it has officially lapsed which could bring problems to the operation of rural telecoms networks in the country. The reprieve officially expired last week Thursday which could pose some issues on any business with the Chinese OEM. The Trump administration has labeled Huawei a security threat that’s why the company couldn’t set up shop stateside.
The US trade ban has affected a lot of companies that have been doing business with Huawei. It’s been over a year and nothing has changed. We highly doubt if the US government will change its mind. It’s up to the American firms that supply tech and products to Huawei to make adjustments. The temporary general license allows US companies to work with Huawei.
One important reprieve was for US software providers to send updates to Huawei. This way, the company could still send them to customers via Huawei devices or wireless network equipment. The said license has expired recently as confirmed by the Commerce Department. The license is important as it provides “an opportunity for users of Huawei devices and telecommunications providers to continue to temporarily operate such devices and existing networks while hastening the transition to alternative suppliers”, ironically, as per the Commerce Department.
Mainly, the smaller rural networks will be affected. Most of them depend on Huawei. They use Huawei because they are inexpensive but the government is now requiring them to replace their Huawei network equipment. This follows shortly after the FCC called Huawei and ZTE as threats.
The networks don’t need to replace their equipment right away. They must wait for money from the federal government. Well, there is no money yet according to Pine Telephone Company’s General Manager Jerry Whisenhunt. He also said, “The longer they wait the more likely it is that we’re going to have problems.”
Other problems may include Google not being able to send software updates to Huawei phones that still run Android. The reprieve given earlier was the same one that allowed the rural networks to continue working with the Chinese company.
Google is still allowed to work with Huawei but only for models released to the public on or before May 16, 2019. It’s still not clear if a reprieve will still be given. Let’s wait and see.