USA lawmakers urge AT&T to cut all ties with Huawei

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Lawmakers in the USA have been urging AT&T, the second largest US wireless carrier, to cut its commercial ties with Huawei Technologies the phone maker based in China and are opposed to the plans by China Mobile, a telecom operator to enter the market in the USA due to concerns over national security, said a pair of congressional aides.

The pressure is coming in the form of a threat to any deals with the federal government if AT&T continues to have contact with Huawei and China Mobile, the sources said. The deal was scrapped at the last minute, supposedly related to the Trump administration's hard line on Chinese investment in the U.S.

In related news, a pair of U.S. Representatives recently introduced a bill that would effectively bar the U.S. government from using Huawei or ZTE smartphones at all and from contracting work from either company.

Over the past few months, AT&T has been developing a close business relationship with Huawei.

Americans can still buy an "unlocked" version of the Mate 10 Pro phone, which starts at $799 and will be sold through Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft, Newegg and B&H.

T-Mobile appears to have been hit with an global service outage.

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Lawmakers have long anxious about Huawei and ZTE date, and Conaway's bill is a new chapter in that saga.

Indeed, Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics, says going the "unlocked" route, leaves Huawei in the USA with "dry breadcrumbs".

Both Reuters and The Information report that 18 members of the US Senate and House intelligence committees sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) citing concerns about the move, as well as "Chinese espionage in general, and Huawei's role in that espionage in particular".

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Huawei was set to announce that it would finally offer one of its smartphones for sale in the U.S. via AT&T, but the deal fell apart at the last minute. "We've proven our quality, we've proven our privacy and security protection". If we've learned one thing from all this Meltdown/Spectre business, it's that a fundamental flaw in a chip can lie undetected for years, even decades.

AT&T declined to comment but said that it had made no decisions on 5G suppliers.

Concerns over cybersecurity go beyond China.