US officials sought to give Ericsson and Nokia a leg up over Huawei, exploring ways of providing financial assistance which would allow the pair to offer more competitive payment terms for their equipment, Financial Times reported.

The newspaper noted such a move would help the European vendors counter Huawei’s practice of offering customers longer payment terms to win their business.

Financing is a key concern among regional US operators, which historically turned to Huawei as a more affordable option and are now facing calls to replace its kit.

US Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks recently said that in discussions about how to address the issue, both Nokia and Ericsson offered to create products and financing options specifically geared toward the needs of smaller operators.

Sources told FT the idea is one of several under consideration by President Donald Trump’s administration to offer telecommunications companies alternatives to Huawei’s equipment.

Other propositions include providing government funding for operators to rip and replace Huawei kit, increasing incentives for companies to develop open source network gear and backing a domestic new entrant.

In September, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei detailed a plan to licence the company’s 5G technology to create a new US-based competitor, but did not say whether the proposal had generated any interest.