Vodafone says that a decision by the government to ban Huawei and ZTE from supplying equipment for Australian telcos’ 5G rollouts is a “significant change which fundamentally undermines Australia’s 5G future”.
“We have always said that national security is paramount. We always have and always will meet our obligations under Australian law,” said Vodafone Hutchison Australia’s chief strategy officer Dan Lloyd.
“However, major decisions of this nature need to be made with rigour, accountability and careful consideration of the economic, productivity and social implications for the country. This decision, which has been dropped on the eve of the 5G auction, creates uncertainty for carriers’ investment plans.”
Lloyd said that Vodafone “will consider what it means for our business.”
Huawei has supplied equipment for the 4G networks of both Vodafone and Optus.
Optus’ vice-president, regulatory and public affairs, Andrew Sheridan, said the telco welcomed the certainty that the government’s 5G security advice provided.
“Optus has a mix of vendors in its mobile network and we remain well positioned to lead in the delivery of 5G services,” Sheridan said.
“Optus shares the government’s objectives of ensuring the security of Australia’s information, communications and critical infrastructure. Our track record demonstrates collaboration with Government, departmental agencies and vendors to develop appropriate controls and safeguards to ensure that our network and services remain secure.”
A Telstra spokesperson issued a short statement in response to the ban: “We have seen the announcement and will comply with the government’s direction.”