Google recently announced that it had cut off Huawei’s Android licence following a US crackdown on its technology trade with China.
It remains unclear how Huawei will alter its platform following the suspension of its Android licence, but the company has been granted some reprieve in the form of a 90-day licence to use the Android platform and maintain support for existing products and equipment.
While this licence may be extended, Huawei may need to make changes to its operating system design to comply with the revocation of the Android licence.
This raises the question of operator support and whether Huawei will continue to be able to deliver platform updates through mobile partners in South Africa.
MyBroadband asked South African mobile operators how they are affected by the revocation of Huawei’s Android licence and what their plans are to handle the situation.
MTN told MyBroadband that it is examining the implications of the licence revocation and how it will affect its customers.
“The US temporary licence granted on 20 May enables Huawei to push out software updates to Huawei smartphones through to 19 August,” the company said.
“MTN will continue to assess the situation and take necessary measures as and when required.”
The company said the current situation is “unfortunate” and it welcomed the reprieve granted in the form of the temporary licence.
“Huawei is one of MTN’s partners, and we find the situation to be unfortunate,” the company said.
MTN said it would engage relevant authorities and partners as it monitors the situation, with the aim of keeping its customers and key stakeholders updated on an on-going basis.
Vodacom told MyBroadband that it was currently monitoring the situation and determining how it could be affected by the US government’s decision.
“We are currently reviewing the situation and assessing the possible implications for Vodacom,” the company said.
Cell C said it has contacted Huawei about the matter, an was assured that it would continue to provide updates and service for all existing devices – whether in stock or already sold.
“Huawei has advised Cell C that they will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services for all existing Huawei devices, covering those that are in our customers’ hands and those in stock awaiting sale,” the company told MyBroadband.
“Cell C will continue to monitor the situation and will update customers of any changes.”
MyBroadband reached out to Telkom for feedback on the situation, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.