US Turns To Huawei Rivals For 5G Software, Networking Gear

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With Huawei on the Trump Administration's bad side (and the US Entity List), the current administration is turning to Huawei rivals Ericsson and Nokia for 5G networking gear. But Trump is discovering that Huawei's dominant presence in 5G and telecom is forcing the US (in light of the Trump Ban) to turn to multiple companies to take Huawei's place.

Nokia and Ericsson, Huawei telecom rivals, replace dominant supplier

Nokia and Ericsson make their own telecom equipment and have been Huawei rivals globally. Nokia CTO Marcus Weldon has already said on record that Huawei's "favorite son" status in China with its government subsidies made it incredibly difficult for Nokia to compete there. The US doesn't have its own telecom equipment manufacturers. With Huawei off the table, Huawei being one of the largest manufacturers of telecom equipment worldwide with a 28% market share, Nokia and Ericsson are the other two industry giants.

With the US's decision to go with global telecom rivals Nokia and Ericsson, US officials say that Nokia and Ericsson need to compete with Huawei in the US. One way to do that is to provide government subsidies for both companies, similar to what Huawei receives in China, so that they can offer their hardware at extremely affordable prices.

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Cisco and Oracle asked to join networking gear race

President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) campaign has been all about bringing business back to the US, and keeping America at the forefront of the next generation in all areas. This includes 5G and how it's expected to take off in the next few years. And yet, the US has a gaping absence in 5G telecom equipment because there's no American manufacturer willing to step up to the industry plate.

So, the Trump administration has asked Cisco and Oracle to start making radio transmitters, but both companies have said it requires too much money and too much time — neither of which each company has.

To keep costs low, US may use multiple networking gear suppliers

As can be seen, Huawei's absence in the US in telecom gear leaves a lot to be desired. The US has gone with Huawei networking gear for some time, but with Huawei now a national security threat, Huawei rivals are in. But there's one problem: depending on the price of networking gear, Americans could find themselves purchasing different telecom equipment from different manufacturers.

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Altiostar to provide uniform networking software for multiple suppliers

But this creates another problem: how does one maintain a similar software experience despite various hardware suppliers? The answer is to create uniform software that makes various hardware gear compatible. While America doesn't have a networking gear supplier to rival Huawei, it does have a networking software company that can supply uniformity in the software experience. The US company is called Altiostar. 

Altiostar is currently emphasizing that its software needs to be supported across multiple telecom equipment suppliers in order to make various hardware equipment compatible. This would create the best of both worlds: various suppliers (some with more affordable pricing, no doubt, others a bit more expensive) with uniform software. Of course, Cisco and Oracle would, with Altiostar, complete the puzzle, but yeah, they're not invested.

Nokia, Ericsson, and Altiostar to replace Huawei in light of Trump Ban

The Trump administration's plans to encourage Nokia and Ericsson as well as Altiostar in America's 5G networking hardware/software movement stems from the country's disapproval of Shenzhen-based manufacturer, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. Huawei has been placed on the US Entity List since mid-May, when Trump's Executive Order declared the company under the US Ban.

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Huawei is one of the most dominant 5G players globally right now, with a clientele list longer now than in mid-May. The company owns 15% of all 5G patents worldwide.

Right after Trump issued the Ban against Huawei, American high-tech companies started to feel the financial pinch. Huawei invests $11 billion in American tech components annually. This fact moved Trump to allow high-tech manufacturers to sell to Huawei again earlier this summer. Now, Huawei's absence in America's 5G networking gear investment leaves the door open for Nokia and Ericsson to have even larger slices of the financial pie.

Former DHS and NSA heads have said that the US needs to diversity its portfolio in order to ward off Huawei dominance in 5G and the telecom networking gear manufacturing race globally. The diversification sentiment was echoed by former counterterrorism official Nate Snyder in late summer.

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Staff News Writer

Deidre Richardson is a tech lover whose insatiable desire for all things tech has kept her in tech journalism some eight years now. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned BA degrees in both History and Music. Since graduating from Carolina in 2006, Richardson obtained a Master of Divinity degree and spent four years in postgraduate seminary studies. She's written five books since 2017 and all of them are available at Amazon. You can connect with Deidre Richardson on Facebook.

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