Double surprise at Free’s first half financial results press conference. Iliad chief executive Thomas Reynaud said he had requested permission to install Huawei mobile antennas. And he wiped a end of refusal from ANSSI. The fact that Free is interested in Huawei is astonishing, knowing that it has traditionally relied solely on European Nokia. He has, moreover, often congratulated himself in recent months, on do not count Huawei as a supplier given the turmoil surrounding the equipment manufacturer.

Free cries out injustice

But what is most unusual is that Free now considers the refusal to be an injustice. Because Bouygues Telecom and SFR, the only two mobile operators who were previously Huawei customers in France, have nevertheless obtained temporary authorizations for some of their antennas. A minimum knowing that in the opposite case, they would have to dismantle their entire network. They are not out of the woods, however, as these green lights would not be renewable. Bouygues Telecom is therefore preparing to have to withdraw 3000 Huawei antennas by 2028. The two operators thus find themselves rather weakened on the eve of the launch of 5G.

Free nevertheless persists in finding the situation unfair. “We regret this difference in treatment. This break in equality is problematic. We should all be able to use the same providers “, said Thomas Reynaud. He did not say, however, whether these were requests for 5G or 4G and in which areas. We think in particular of rural areas where Huawei’s antennas are particularly efficient in terms of coverage.

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