US operator Verizon has decided to scrap its plans to sell Huawei smartphones as pressure on Chinese technology companies from the US government continues to intensify amidst security concerns.
The decision by Verizon is not an isolated incident; just a few weeks ago, AT&T was close to agreeing a partnership agreement with the Chinese vendor but decided to pull out of the deal at the eleventh hour.
It has also been leaked in recent days that the US government is considering a plan which would see them nationalise 5G. The Trump administration believes that constructing its own 5G network is the best way to protect themselves from the potential security risk posed by China.
In addition to this, last month, Republican congressman Mike Conaway tabled a proposal in the House of Representatives which called for all US government departments to stop using equipment or services supplied by Huawei or ZTE in relation to security.
Sources close to Verizon have told Bloomberg that Verizon has officially informed Huawei that it will now drop its plans to sell its new Mate 10 Pro device or any other phones manufactured by the Chinese vendor. It has been reported that AT&T pulled out of its deal with Huawei due to regulatory pressure.
However, it has been disclosed that the Mate 10 Pro device will still be available in the United States, and can be used on both AT&T and Verizon’s networks.
It remains unclear what approach the US government will take in relation to nationalising 5G. However, according to the security memo leaked only a single, centralised network would be sufficient in protecting the United States from China and other bad actors. The suggestion to nationalise 5G in the US has been slammed by industry leaders such as FCC chairman Ajit Pai.
Huawei is expected to play a prominent role in bringing 5G to the market with its network equipment, and reports say the vendor is aggressively pursuing its objective to become the first to launch a 5G-capable smartphone.
AT&T, meanwhile, said it is aiming to launch mobile services at the end of this year: Verizon is expected to follow swiftly. However, with anti-Chinese sentiment in the US growing, it is increasingly likely Huawei’s 5G-capable equipment and devices will be off-limits for US big boys.