The past year or so has certainly been a rollercoaster ride for Huawei. Whether the claims levelled at the Chinese company are true or false, the company has had to deal with the fallout of the U.S. government’s decision to place a ban on American companies’ dealings with Huawei. However, they may now be offered some respite where it comes to 5G development.
According to a new Reuters report, the Commerce Department and other relevant agencies have approved a change in the rules to allow American companies to work with Huawei on setting standards for 5G networks. This decision has ben confirmed by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, although he maintains that the U.S. isn’t conceding their “leadership in global innovation” to Huawei.
In fact, officials have said that this rule change shouldn’t be interpreted as one that relaxes or lifts the ban against Huawei. Instead, the amendment is still self-serving in nature—the Huawei restrictions put the U.S. at a disadvantage in standards settings, according to Reuters.
5G networks, of course, are expected to be a game-changer in the technology scene. Ranging from raw broadband speed all the way to self-driving autonomous cars, U.S.’ participation in the process of standards-setting will “influence the future of 5G”.
However, it’s still a little vague at this point. While Huawei will be allowed to get involved with 5G standard-setting, it still doesn’t look like the Chinese company will be able to actually supply 5G equipment. Huawei reportedly supplies gear for two-thirds of the world’s 5G networks, so this is certainly a key aspect of the entire discussion.
Previously, the U.S. Commerce department listed Huawei on its blacklisted entity list, which basically banned dealings between American companies and Huawei. Following several exemptions and extensions, President Trump extended the order till May 2021. On the consumer side of things, the biggest change has been the lack of Google Mobile Services (GMS) on newly-launched Huawei devices, with the company choosing to use its own Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) instead.
The rule change has already been approved by relevant agencies, although publication of the amendment will be made on the U.S. Federal Register at some point today (16 June 2020).
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