Lawmakers Pushing AT&T To Cut All Ties With Huawei

Lawmakers Pushing AT&T To Cut All Ties With Huawei

This new bill comes as a major blow to the USA presence of Huawei, which is already unsteady following a deal with AT&T that did not push through. A further proposal lodged past year aimed to restrict the Pentagon from buying equipment from Chinese or Russian telecommunications companies.

Now, Reuters is also reporting that United States lawmakers did indeed pressure AT&T to drop its plans to carry handsets from the Chinese company. U.S. Representative Michael Conaway has proposed a new bill (via TechCrunch) that would ban the U.S. government "from working with service providers that use any equipment from [Huawei or ZTE] for security reasons".

The lawmakers are also troubled with Cricket, AT&T's subsidiary, and its use of Huawei handsets, according to Reuters.

Today's report suggests that AT&T walked away from Huawei under pressure from government regulators, who were most likely lobbied by the same members of Congress involved in the investigation.

One of the commercial ties senators and House members reportedly want AT&T to cut is its collaboration with Huawei over standards for the high-speed next generation 5G network.

Created to add connectivity to billions of devices - securely - 5G is also expected to serve as the networking technology inside next-generation cities and auto traffic infrastructures. Today, LTE networks running compromised equipment and/or software can be susceptible to intrusions, and even networks with solid hardware can be taken down by one or more low-cost devices.

Two Republican lawmakers, Representatives Michael Conaway and Liz Cheney, introduced a bill this week that bars the USA government from using or contracting with Huawei or ZTE Corp, a Chinese telecommunications and equipment and systems company.

ZTE is a publicly traded, but state-owned corporation, whilst Huawei says that it is a private business owned by its employees - but its corporate ownership structure remains opaque. A December 20 letter by the Senate and House intelligence Committees to the FCC expressed concerns about Huawei's ties to the Chinese government and the Communist party, despite no evidence of Huawei spying being made public.

Reuters reports that congressional aides have claimed that the United States government is seeking to block plans for China Mobile to enter the USA market.

At the same time, both companies are in the top five for global telecom equipment sales, with significant supply contracts for overseas governments.

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