Huawei may be denied from Australia’s 5G network due to security concerns

By @chelean on
huawei
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is seen outside its headquarters in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, April 17, 2012. Reuters/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

Chinese telco Huawei could be excluded from taking part in Australia’s 5G mobile network. According to reports, the tech giant will be disqualified from providing equipment for the planned 5G wireless network.

Sources told the ABC that Huawei is still considered a cyber espionage risk. It is almost guaranteed to be excluded from contributing to the building of the 5G wireless network after national security agencies expressed their concerns about the company’s alleged links to the Chinese government.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was critical of Labor’s decision to block Huawei, is said to announce his decision soon, the report claims.

The government sources admitted that blocking Huawei from participating in the 5G network would be a “big deal.” The telco is in partnership with Optus and Vodafone on mobile phone networks. Blocking the telco could also aggravate Australia’s relationship with China. However, intelligence and security agencies were still allegedly determined to exclude Huawei because of national security concerns.

“Most Australians would accept a logical and common sense process that when you’re building critical infrastructure and particularly in the modern age, telecommunications and IT infrastructure, then you do so in a way that takes into account national security concerns,” Attorney General Christian Porter said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Huawei’s Australian chairman John Lord has denied being left out of the 5G. He said the company’s executives were being “welcomed” in Canberra, and that he had not been advised of any government decision about the reported 5G exclusion.

“We’re getting a very receptive ear as we put forward how 5G works … we’re getting welcomed as we continue to talk to government in an open way,” he said. “Government officials have raised no real concerns other than to seek more information from is about the way 5G is being formed, similarities to 4G, how Huawei intends to take 5G forward. So we’re not really getting any concerns expressed to us in any way at all other than the reports in the media.”

Huawei was not allowed to tender for the National Broadband Network in 2012 due to security concerns. Australia’s Department of Defence also said earlier this year that it was no longer using Huawei phones.

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