Verizon followed rival AT&T in distancing itself from Huawei by dropping all plans to sell its devices, as government pressure against Chinese companies in the US ramps.
Sources told Bloomberg Verizon will not sell Huawei’s new Mate 10 Pro device or any other phones manufactured by the vendor.
Earlier this month, rival AT&T backed out of a deal to sell Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro device in the US following regulatory pressure. While Verizon was not reported to have had a similar deal in place, it appears the operator harboured plans to sell the device in the future.
The Mate 10 Pro device will still be available on the US, and can be used on both AT&T and Verizon’s networks.
In truth, news Verizon dropped any plans to sell Huawei devices does not come as much of a surprise, given renewed concerns coming from Washington DC regarding China-based technology companies including Huawei and ZTE.
After AT&T’s deal with Huawei fell through, the operator and other US companies were reportedly urged to cut all commercial ties with Huawei and operator China Mobile, while Texas congressman Michael Conaway also introduced a bill proposing a ban on the US government using services or equipment from Huawei and ZTE.
Perhaps the biggest sign the US government is seriously concerned about the perceived threat from China came this week in an internal government report showing it is considering building a nationalised 5G network. A source told news outlet Axios, which broke the story, only a single, centralised, network would be sufficient in protecting the US against China and other bad actors.
The idea was roundly criticised by industry leaders, including Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai.
Huawei is notably expected to play a leading role in bringing 5G to market with its network equipment. It is also pushing to be among the first to launch a 5G-capable phone, added Bloomberg.
AT&T, meanwhile, said it is aiming to launch mobile services at the end of this year: Verizon is expected to follow swiftly.
However, with anti-Chinese sentiment in the US growing, it is increasingly likely Huawei’s 5G-capable equipment and devices will be off-limits for the US big boys.