Verizon, AT&T drop Huawei, manufacturer stands by strong Canadian carrier relationships

Verizon Huawei Mate 10 Pro launch canceled

Mobile Image Source John Locher AP REX Shutterstock

This is supposedly due to the government's concerns with security risks from China and anticipating the arrival of 5G eventually in the market, having a brand that is closely associated with the Chinese government is risky. AT&T previously dropped the Mate 10 Pro as well. While Huawei sells unlocked phones that can still work on Verizon and AT&T networks, having its phones sold by a major United States carrier would have allowed it to reach more consumers than before and raise its reputation in the US.

ZTE plans to introduce a 5G-capable device in the U.S.at year-end or in early 2019, Lixin Cheng, chief executive officer of the company's mobile-device business, told Bloomberg News this month. 5G will be used for far more than simple mobile data, as it will offer the speed and bandwidth required for more complex communications for autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. Verizon declined to comment, and Huawei did not immediately respond.

Huawei is the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and China's largest maker of telecommunications equipment. Giving the company access to US phones obviously does not sit well with the government.

A day after AT&T's decision was made public by media reports, Huawei's consumer products CEO Richard Yu shared his reaction during a CES keynote.

The same concerns would apparently be applied to American citizens once the Huawei products hit the US market en masse.

Any such national effort would make US 5G leadership not just an economic goal, but also a national security objective, creating "a potentially powerful new dimension to the 5G debate, perhaps with unforeseen consequences", Paul Gallant, a Washington-based analyst with Cowen & Co., said in an note.

Of course, there are other options for Huawei, Verizon being one of them.

The relationship between the US government and the Chinese smartphone maker has been complicated for years. While Huawei phones can still work on the Verizon network, this will stall their continued growth in the USA market.

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