UAE telecom regulator calls for sector stability amid Huawei Google ban

The TRA meets Huawei officials to ensure its products and services are safe and will not affect consumers’ rights in the Emirates

epa07586410 A man walks next to a Huawei logo in a shopping mall in Beijing, China, 20 May 2019. According to media reports on 20 May 2019, the US based multinational technology company Google halted business with Huawei in the wake of the Trump administration adding the Chinese telecommunication company to a trade blacklist over national security concerns. Huawei will lose access to updates for the Android operating system.  EPA-EFE/ROMAN PILIPEY *** Local Caption *** 55208626
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The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE emphasised that all telecom equipment manufacturers have to protect the ‘consumers’ rights’ and provide all required services to maintain stability of the Emirates’ telecom industry.

In the wake of the latest global developments related to Chinese manufacturer Huawei, TRA held several rounds of meetings with its officials to ensure there will be no adverse effect on the UAE’s market and to take a stock of the status of company’s devices and services.

"Huawei confirmed that all its products being sold in the local market, including its stock in warehouses, will not be affected by the recent developments," said TRA in a statement issued to The National, adding, "It [Huawei] stated that all apps and their security updates on Google Play are available without any issues."

Huawei has confirmed its full commitment to comply with the customer relation charter and provide all services of its products sold in the UAE, said the TRA.

On May 17, Washington placed Huawei on a commerce blacklist, barring US companies from doing business with China's biggest technology firm. With no alternative, US technology companies such as Google -owner of Android operating system - complied.

The following week, however, the White House backtracked on the immediate banning of Huawei, granting the company a three-month reprieve after US technology stocks tanked. The Trump administration accuses Huawei of aiding Beijing in espionage, a claim the company denies.

Huawei-made equipment is expected to be used on a large scale when the fifth-generation – 5G – wireless network comes online, powering everything from self-driving cars to the Internet of Things.

Etisalat, UAE's biggest telecom operator, has announced a strategic partnership with Huawei to deploy end-to-end 5G network in the country this year. Abu Dhabi-based telco is constructing more than 1,000 5G towers in the UAE, providing the infrastructure and network to support all 5G devices launched by global mobile device manufacturers like ZTE, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung.

The Emirates is one of the biggest markets for Huawei, with its latest P20 and P30 series doing brisk business in the region, according to the company officials. However, with the fate of Google's Android operating system on Huawei’s devices uncertain, the company could lose a huge market in the UAE.

As contingency plans, Huawei has confirmed that it developed an exclusive operating system for its devices in the wake of ongoing friction with the US government. The company also has its own store for downloading apps in China that could be rolled-out worldwide.