ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Huawei crackdown

Exclusive: Docomo won't carry Huawei 5G phones

Risk of no Google apps becomes a deal breaker for mobile carrier

NTT Docomo touted its 5G network plans at the Tokyo Game Show 2019 on Sept. 12. © Reuters   © Reuters

TOKYO -- NTT Docomo, Japan's largest mobile carrier, will not offer phones from Huawei Technologies for its 5G network, based on concerns about restricted access to Google services, Nikkei has learned.

Docomo looks to begin selling 5G-compatible phones when it starts fifth-generation wireless service next spring.

But it will not negotiate to procure devices from Huawei, the world's largest telecom gear manufacturer, according to several NTT group executives who requested anonymity.

Huawei's Android troubles threaten to accelerate a shift away from its phones. Japan's two other major carriers, KDDI and SoftBank Corp., may follow Docomo's lead when they roll out their 5G device lineups.

Japan was the fifth-largest market for Huawei phones in 2018, with 1.88 million handsets shipped there, data from Tokyo-based MM Research Institute shows.

The U.S. has placed the Chinese company on a list of businesses barred from dealing with American suppliers. As a result, new Huawei phones likely will be unable to use popular apps such as Gmail that run on Android.

The U.S. Commerce Department granted a partial reprieve from the ban to let Huawei maintain and support existing gear. During this grace period, which was extended for another 90 days on Aug. 19, the Chinese company can provide Android updates for handsets it has already sold.

But the restrictions still apply to new phones, meaning that Huawei likely cannot load them with Google software beyond the free, open-source version of the Android platform.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media