According to an article published by Reuters, US authorities are working on a new law that could further block Huawei’s access to components based on US technologies. After Huawei was forced to drop its partnership with Google, as well as 5G connectivity on its smartphones, new restrictions are reportedly coming that could block even older technologies like 4G, as well as newer ones like Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 7, AI or high-performance server components.
Huawei phones could lose access to 4G connectivity
Although US authorities are not commenting on the information, and Qualcomm and Huawei declined to respond to Reuters’ questions, sources who revealed the details on condition of anonymity say they are close to the situation. The new regulation would appear to be in line with decisions made over the past year by the Biden administration in relation to Huawei. Previously, the US government, led at the time by Donald Trump, ruled that Huawei can use components equipped with 4G chips, but now it seems Biden is going further and banning the sale of 4G technology as well. Qualcomm currently sells Snapdragon chips with 5G modems disabled to Huawei, which can only be connected to 4G networks.
This would put Huawei in a real impossibility to produce smartphones of any kind, as 3G technologies are too slow for the reality of today’s internet, and in several regions of the world, operators are already starting to shut down 3G infrastructure, offering only minimum 4G to their customers. So even if they could produce 3G phones, they would no longer work in some areas.
So Huawei could exit the smartphone market completely, at least until it can produce its own chips, using proprietary technologies. Already the Chinese company has filed patents in China for the development of EUV lithography technologies used to produce chips of recent generations, such as 4, 5 or 7nm. From patent to actual development of the technology and then construction of the factories could take several years, by which time Huawei’s existing stocks of components could be exhausted.