Huawei likely to be spared Australia 5G ban

14 Aug 2018

The Australian government is not expected to ban Huawei from participating in the deployment of Australia's 5G networks, but may restrict the types of technologies the vendor can provide.

Despite facing calls from some politicians to prevent Huawei from winning Australian 5G rollout contracts on national security grounds, there will not be a ban issued, the Australianreported, citing unnamed industry sources.

But the government is working on Telecommunications Sector Security Reform legislation that will impose new security and notification obligations for operators.

If Huawei is designated a high-risk provider, the legislation may as a consequence limit Huawei to providing core network components and not radio access layer components.

According to the report, although Huawei has provided RAN and core equipment to Optus and Vodafone for their 4G rollouts, the government has raised concern that core and radio networks will be much more closely aligned in 5G networks through software.

Despite having cited no real evidence to justify its concerns, the Australian government has previously banned Huawei from participating in the rollout of the national broadband network.

The government also recently objected to plans by the Papua New Guinea government to deploy a subsea cable to Australia because Huawei had been selected to deploy the network.

The government instead offered to fund a cable linking both Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to Australia. The Coral Sea Cable System project will be operated by Vocus Group and deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN).

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