Tuesday, 21 May 2019 10:03

US eases some restrictions on Huawei for maintenance, updates Featured

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US eases some restrictions on Huawei for maintenance, updates Pixabay

The US Commerce Department has eased some of the restrictions it imposed on Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies last week, allowing the company to maintain and update existing networks and handsets.

The temporary licence took effect on Monday, expires on 19 August and has been posted for the public to view.

On 16 May, the US imposed a ban on Huawei and 68 of its affiliates, preventing the company from importing components from American companies without government approval. Some of the affiliates are in other countries like Canada, Japan, Brazil, the UK, Singapore and others.

There was alarm in tech circles on Monday, when Google announced it was cutting off Huawei's cutaccess to future updates of Google's Android and Google Play Store.

Huawei uses Android in its smartphones. Some parts of Android, like the kernel, which is a modified version of Linux, are under open-source licences.

Other components, like Gmail, Google Maps and a number of other apps, are proprietary and licensed to vendors. But the updates are distributed as a single firmware image and include both the open source and proprietary components.

The US licence lifting some restrictions also allowed Huawei to be notified of security flaws in any device it or any of its 68 affiliates manufactures.

An exemption for the participation in activity that is geared towards the development of 5G standards was also provided.

Only about 1% of gear used in US telecommunications networks is from Huawei with Ericsson and Nokia (48% apiece) having the major share and Samsung (3%) making up the rest.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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