France-based Free Mobile reportedly launched a lawsuit against permits given to Bouygues Telecom and SFR to use Huawei 5G antennas, which it argued gave its two rivals an unfair advantage.

French newspaper L’Express reported Free filed a case at the Paris administrative court claiming its own requests to security agency Anssi for clearance to use Huawei products was rejected, but Bouygues Telecom and SFR have been given the greenlight.

Orange was also prohibited from using Huawei equipment, the newspaper added.

Unlike the UK, France has not issued an outright ban on the use of Huawei’s products, however the government has made it clear operators were discouraged from additional equipment from the vendor.

Interestingly, a year ago, Bouygues Telecom revealed it planned to replace 3,000 Huawei antennas used in its network over the next eight years, a move deemed as a response to attempts by the government to phase out its kit.

However, it appears Bouygues Telecom is pushing ahead with deploying antennas from the vendor for next-generation services.

All four operators previously launched action against the state over the imposition of security restrictions, but have failed in their attempts to get the laws lifted.