TPG Boss Says Huawei Ban May Add To 5G Network Costs
TPG Telecom CEO David Teoh says the Government’s ban Huawei taking part in the construction of Australia’s 5G network will put pressure on prices.
Speaking to Fairfax Media, he said he was still waiting for specifics about the rules banning equipment providers such as Huawei, but refused to rule out the $600 million price to build Australia’s fourth mobile network having to be revised upwards.
“We still have nothing from the government. We need to know the rules, what are the boundaries and so on. We are using multiple vendors at this moment,” he said. “There are not many suppliers in the marketplace and taking out a major player puts pressure on prices.
Huawei, an acknowledged leader in the global network equipment sector, had put its hand up to build at least part of Australia’s 5G infrastructure earlier this year. However the Federal Government then threw a spanner in the works by banning vendors that are “likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government”, effectively ruling out Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE.
This places Nokia and Ericsson at the front of the pack to deliver the network build, potentially at a much higher cost.
At the same time, uncertainty still surrounds TPG’s proposed $15 billion merger with Vodafone, which still has a number of regulatory hurdles to clear before becoming a reality, though Teoh fully expects it to go ahead and for the combined entity to compete aggressively against Telstra and Optus in the mobile space.