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US creates $1bn fund to replace Huawei kit

(Image credit: O2)

The US wants small and rural wireless providers to replace Huawei’s 5G gear and it’s setting aside a bunch of money to make it happen. A new, bipartisan legislation was announced, earlier this week, setting aside $1 billion for local wireless providers.

The US government wants Huawei’s and ZTE’s 5G gear out of the picture, claiming it’s a liability and a risk to national security.

A bipartisan panel from the House Energy and Commerce Committee said the bill would defend the “nation’s communications networks from foreign adversaries by helping small and rural wireless providers root-out suspect network equipment and replace it with more secure equipment.”

The panel is expected to hold a hearing on the bill later this week, on Friday. Even though a direct successor to Huawei is not yet known, the media are speculating that Ericsson and Nokia are the biggest contenders.

Earlier this year, the US Senate Committee issued a similar legislation, approving some $700 million in grants for the same cause – eliminating Huawei’s gear from US networks.

Huawei hasn’t commented yet.

The company has come under attack from the US government, which claims its gear could be used by the Chinese government for espionage. Huawei has denied these accusations, offering audits, and even offering its own code so that independent analysts can determine the level of security.