Australia blocks Huawei and ZTE involvement in 5G rollout

Tyrone Stewart

Huawei MWCThe Australian government has made the decision to ban Chinese telecoms equipment makers Huawei and ZTE from supplying the country’s mobile phone operators with 5G technology.

The move comes after the government undertook a review of the national security risks to 5G networks and deemed that the two Chinese companies pose a potential risk to national security – taking a similar stance on Chinese firms to the US, while a UK security committee and a UK cybersecurity watchdog have warned of the risks posed by both Huawei and ZTE respectively.

In a tweet, Huawei’s Australian arm said: “We have been informed by the Govt that Huawei & ZTE have been banned from providing 5G technology to Australia. This is a extremely disappointing result for consumers. Huawei is a world leader in 5G. Has safely & securely delivered wireless technology in Aust for close to 15 yrs.”

Last year, the Australian government introduced the Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms (TSSR), setting out a framework for security agencies and the industry to share sensitive information on threats to telecoms networks. These reforms are set to be implemented from next month.

“The Government’s Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms, which commence on 18 September, place obligations on telecommunications companies to protect Australian networks from unauthorised interference or access that might prejudice our national security,” said Australia’s acting minister of Home Affairs, Scott Morrison.

“The Government has now provided carriers with clear guidance about how their new legal obligations apply to 5G networks.”