The US Federal Communications Commission announced the launch of the Huawei and ZTE equipment replacement program. U.S. telecommunications companies can now receive a subsidy to remove the Chinese companies' equipment from their networks.
The subsidy will not be available to everyone. A telecom company must have a minimum of 10 million subscribers to take advantage of the program. In addition, funds will be available to replace equipment manufactured before June 30, 2020. Dismantling will take approximately one year from the date the funds are received.
Not all operators are confident that they will be able to dismantle equipment of Chinese manufacturers and install new ones in due time. Under U.S. law, companies will have to find contractors with industrial shredders to dispose of Huawei and ZTE devices. That's according to John Nettles, president of Pine Belt Communication Inc.
He also noted that operators will not be able to scrap Chinese companies' equipment before they get their hands on counterparts from Nokia and Ericsson.