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Federal Gov Launches Inquiry Into 5G Network

An inquiry into 5G technology has been launched by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts.

First requested by Communications Minister Paul Fletcher on 13 September, the committee has been asked ‘to inquire into and report on the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia.’

The committee will, ‘investigate the capability, capacity and deployment of 5G’ and attempt to ‘understand the application of 5G, including use cases for enterprise and government.’

Matters relating to national security, however, will not be covered by the committee as they go beyond the scope of the inquiry.

Chairing the committee is Nationals MP Dr David Gillespie, alongside Deputy Chair, Labor MP Ed Husic and six committee members.

In a media release, Dr Gillespie said ‘5G will transform the way we live and work, and provide opportunities for family life, industry and commerce… [the committee] want to hear about the opportunities and challenges of 5G’.

Individuals from the public and organisations have been invited to provide written submissions addressing the inquiries terms of reference by 1 November 2019.

However, no date has been set for the committee to report back.

The inquiry comes at a peculiar time following the recent government decision to ban Huawei and ZTE from participating in the rollout of 5G in Australia.

Which greatly affected TPG who decided to end its 5G rollout as a result of the national ban.

“It is extremely disappointing that the clear strategy the company had to become a mobile network operator at the forefront of 5G has been undone by factors outside of TPG’s control,” executive chairman David Teoh said earlier this year in a statement published by the Australian Stock Exchange.

Aussie telcos have already taken their first steps into 5G with Telstra labelling it as a ‘strong growth engine for the company’ during its annual retail shareholder day earlier this month.

Optus has also begun construction of its 5G network, working alongside Nokia and Ericsson, announcing fifty new mobile network sites across Sydney and Melbourne in January 2019.

The terms of reference for the inquiry regards 5G as ‘the fifth generation of mobile technology, in line with the International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020) Standard of the International Telecommunications Union and the associated releases of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).’

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