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Huawei and ZTE banned from providing equipment to build Australia's 5G network

24 August 2018

The Australian government reportedly followed advice from security agencies on the matter, though it will no doubt come as another big blow to Huawei, which has already seen a significant deal fall through in the USA this year.

Acting Home Affairs Minister Scott Morrison and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield claim "new [network] architecture" provides ways to "circumvent traditional security controls", risking overall network integrity and customer data.

Following a national security review of potential risks posed by allowing Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to provide equipment for the country's 5G network, Australia has made a decision to close the door to the company.

The statement did not name the Chinese firm specifically, but a government official who declined to be named said the order was aimed at Huawei and precluded its involvement in the network.

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The pair expressed concerns that Huawei, which is also facing scrutiny in the United States over alleged links to Beijing, would pose threat to Australia's national security as it would be subject to the Chinese government influence.

We've approached Huawei Australia for further comment.

The government said in an emailed statement on Thursday that national security regulations typically applied to telecom carriers would now be extended to equipment suppliers.

The whole Huawei-is-a-security-concern issue is convoluted and divisive. It also occurred at a time when Huawei is lobbying the Australian government not to block it from supplying broadband equipment for Australia's 5G mobile services roll-out. This is a extremely disappointing result for consumers.

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Organizations and individuals in China are required by law to aid in the government's intelligence efforts, making Huawei's technology a potential instrument of espionage.

There's little doubt that the ban on Huawei and ZTE equipment will have a major impact on carriers' 5G plans, as they will most likely have to spend more to source equipment from other major vendors.

"5G requires a change in the way the network operates compared to previous mobile generations", read the statement.

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Huawei and ZTE banned from providing equipment to build Australia's 5G network