China-based telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei is reportedly considering licensing its 5G network technology to some U.S. telecom companies.
According to a Reuters report, Huawei senior vice-president and board director Vincent Pang said some companies expressed interested in either a long-term deal or a one-off transfer. Pang declined to name which firms.
Pang said that conversations were only a couple weeks old and not at a detailed level.
The U.S. placed Huawei on a blacklist in May over national security concerns, banning it from buying American-made parts without a special licence. The company was also accused of bank fraud and violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, as well as theft of trade secrets. Huawei denied the claims.
Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou is currently facing extradition to the U.S. concerning the allegations of bank and wire fraud. The hearing is scheduled for January 2020 in Vancouver.
Reuters reports that rules expected from the U.S. Commerce Department this month will likely ban the company from America’s telecom supply chain.
A State Department official told Reuters last month that it’s “not realistic that carriers would take on this equipment and then manage all the software and hardware themselves.” The comments came after Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei first suggested companies could purchase Huawei’s 5G patents, licences and code for a one-off fee.
The official suggested that licensees of Huawei equipment would have no way to tell if there were bugs in the initial software.
While Pang declined to predict whether a deal may be signed, he told Reuters that the research and development cost to improve the platform after a single-transfer from Huawei would be costly for telecoms.