some fears about huawei are "complete nonsense", orange's chief says

Some fears about Huawei are “complete nonsense”, Orange’s chief says

Last updated:

Some fears surrounding Huawei are unfounded, the chief executive of France’s leading telecoms operator Orange said on Wednesday, as the concerns threaten to delay the roll-out of 5G.

The United States has said that gear provided by Huawei contains ‘back doors’ that would enable China to spy on other countries, and has been pressing allies to block Huawei’s technology being used for 5G.

The company, which denies the allegations, is now at risk of losing ground against rivals Ericsson and Nokia in key European markets like Germany and France, where political debates rage on the suitability of deploying the next mobile networks with Huawei equipment.

“This myth that (amounts to saying): I’ve got a China-made
antenna, so it must have a microphone that allows all my
conservations to be listened to by the Chinese communist party is complete nonsense,” Orange’s boss Stéphane Richard said as he was testifying in front of French lawmakers.

“It hasn’t been established anywhere.”


Richard’s comments come a day after France’s telecoms regulator Arcep formally launched the procedure for assigning 5G frequency licences to Orange and local rivals Altice Europe’s SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Iliad, in
which the authority said the payments for some of the 5G spectrum could staggered over 15 years.

Orange does not use Huawei equipment in France but does so in other key markets such as Spain, Poland and Africa.

The sale of France’s 5G spectrum, which will be made at a floor price of 2.17 billion euros ($2.39 billion), will take a few months, with a final distribution of the frequencies in Spring, several months after the initial schedule.

The roll-out could be impacted by the uncertainty surrounding the use of Huawei equipment in the country, especially for SFR and Bouygues Telecom, the two biggest users of the Chinese group’s equipment in France.

A recent decree aimed at screening all telecoms equipment to prevent espionage did not offer enough clarity for France’s telecoms lobby FFT, which insisted guarantees needed to be made on the issue.

“We solemnly ask you to postpone the launch of tenders for 5G frequencies until this situation regarding equipment
manufacturers… has been clarified,” the FFT president, Arthur Dreyfuss, said on Monday.

My Cart Close (×)

Your cart is empty
Browse Shop

Rapid Mobile

Rapid Mobile uses cookies, tokens, and other third party scripts to recognise visitors of our sites and services, remember your settings and privacy choices, and - depending on your settings and privacy choices - enable us and some key partners to collect information about you so that we can improve our services and deliver relevant ads.


By continuing to use our site or clicking I Accept, you agree that Rapid Mobile and our key partners may collect data and use cookies for personalised ads and other purposes, as described more fully in our privacy policy.


You can change your settings at any time by clicking Manage Settings or by visiting our Privacy Centre for more detailed information.


Privacy Settings saved!
Cookie Services

We need your consent so that we and our trusted partners can store and access cookies, unique identifiers, personal data and information about your browsing behaviour on your device. This enables us to serve relevant content and advertising to you, and to improve the service that we provide to our readers. This only applies to we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site.

We track anonymized user information to improve our website.
  • _ga
  • _gid
  • _gat

Save my preferences