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BREAKING NEWS: Huawei & ZTE Banned From 5G Network Build

Chinese-based Huawei and ZTE have officially been banned from Australia’s 5G network build, with the federal government asserting its involvement presents significant national security risks.

The news comes after Huawei Australian Chairman, John Lord, addressed the National Press Club in June, seeking to debunk “myths”, and make a case for the company’s inclusion.

“If Huawei can deliver 4G in Australia already, why can’t it do 5G?” Mr Lord claimed at the time.

For several months, reports speculated Huawei could be banned from Australia’s 5G network, with commentators awaiting a final announcement, despite the company’s continual denial.

In July, Huawei Director, Chen Lifang, claimed a ban was unlikely, with the telco open to independent security tests of its 5G equipment.

Today, the Federal Government has announced the involvement of any companies “likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law” will not be involved in Australia’s 5G roll-out.

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.

“The government has found no combination of technical security controls that sufficiently mitigate the risks,” a statement reads.

Whilst ZTE and Huawei have not been explicitly named in the government’s statement, wording implies local telcos which  involve groups such as Huawei and ZTE “risk failure by the carrier” to “adequately protect a 5G network from unauthorised access or interference”.

For months Huawei has asserted its 5G inclusion would not provide security risks, given its heavy involvement in the existing 4G network.

In June, reports emerged Optus, TPG and Vodafone were concerned by Huawei’s potential 5G ban, with the three telcos utilising the Chinese company 4G equipment.

Today, the government claims 5G with its “increased complexity” will render “current protections ineffective.”

Posted to Twitter, Huawei Australia claims the news is an “extremely disappointing result for consumers”, asserting the company is a “world leader” in 5G tech.

The news comes after America’s NSA, FBI and CIA intelligence chiefs issued a warning against Huawei products and services earlier this year, over national security risks.

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