Towards the end of last year, Australia allocated 5G to four major telecoms. This raised nearly AU$853m ($615.6m/£497m) by selling spectrum lots.
On top of this, the Australian government promised a timely rollout of the next-gen technology whilst outlining a 5G technology policy for the country. However, the government’s recent decision to ban Huawei from Australia’s 5G networks have certainly thrown a spanner into the country’s 5G plans.
Losing control of infrastructure
The risk of losing control of infrastructure is the Australian government’s explanation for the Huawei ban. It was concerned that if power networks relied too much on Huawei technology, China could simply shut them down at the flick of a switch.
Australian cyber officials have even gone on to advise India to follow suit, and also ban Huawei tech.
The Australia Financial Review reported that: “Indian officials were keen to get an understanding of how the Turnbull government arrived at the decision to ban Huawei, and multiple discussions have been held over the matter”.
And Australia appears to be joining America in the mission to encourage other countries to ban Huawei.
However, the Australian government’s decision to ban Huawei hasn’t come without some negative consequences. TPG telecom was using Huawei equipment to build its 5G mobile network.
The company had to abandon the build, which cost the telecom provider AU$144m (£116m). However, it’s more than just financial losses at stake, as the ban could also put Australia behind with its 5G rollout plans. TPG’s new infrastructure would have improved Australia’s 5G position significantly, as it would have challenged market-dominating Telstra and Optus.
It appears that the Australian government sees Huawei as a big enough threat to suffer these consequences. As India’s decision-date on Huawei draws closer, it will be interesting to see if it also follows suit.
- Check out the latest 5G stocks news for 2019