Lawmakers push AT&T to stop working with Huawei

New US Proposed Bill Seeks To Ban Huawei & ZTE's Telecoms Services in The US
New Bill Bans US Government Agencies Using Contractors with Huawei or ZTE Tech
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17 January, 2018

In 2011, the two companies were the subject of a report from the House of Representative's Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which recommended that the U.S. government be prohibited from buying Huawei and ZTE products, as well as continued vigilance, investigation, and legislation to address the concerns.

Last week, AT&T abruptly canceled plans to carry a Huawei smartphone, aborting what could have introduced potentially tens of millions of new Huawei devices into the USA market. To that end, Texas Representative Mike Conaway introduced a bill last week called Defending U.S. Government Communications Act, which aims to ban United States government agencies from using phones and equipment from the companies.

AT&T declined comment, but did say it had made no final decision on its suppliers for 5G.

Earlier this month, AT&T was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers Huawei handsets after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators, sources said. ZTE, the other company mentioned in the bill, has quietly grown in the USA and reports said a few months ago that it was the fourth largest seller in the country.

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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. Back in 2014, the British government dropped Huawei devices over security concerns.

That nightmare scenario is the flip side of the "ubiquitous 5G" dream, and the precise reason 5G was built with new security protocols.

Both Huawei and China Mobile have been at the forefront of Congressional national security concerns over China's influence in the United States. Worries over potential Chinese government spying via China-based companies are nothing new, but officials have been, both officially and unofficially, increasingly vocal about these potential issues. If we've learned one thing from all this Meltdown/Spectre business, it's that a fundamental flaw in a chip can lie undetected for years, even decades.

In 2012, Huawei and ZTE Corp were the subject of a USA investigation into whether their equipment provided an opportunity for foreign espionage and threatened critical US infrastructure - a link that Huawei has consistently denied.


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