Chinese telecommunications company Huawei urges the Australian government to speak to the company about introducing a new generation of mobile technologies 6G to avoid repeating the ban on its equipment on 5G cellular networks.
The company that has given up on lifting its ban on the Australian 5G rollout is now looking to discuss collaboration with the government on research and development for the next generation of mobile infrastructure.
Jeremy Mitchell, director of corporate affairs at Huawei Australia, said it was « not too late » to allow Huawei to ship equipment for the Australian 5G network, « but it is very unlikely ». .
« The conversation we want to have with the Australian government now is what we will do when 6G or 7G comes, because whether you like it or not, Huawei or another Chinese company will lead the way in this area « said Mitchell.
“We want to work with the government to ensure Australia has access to the best technology, but in a way that gives security authorities confidence in reducing the risk.
“6G is just beginning to develop research, but it is important to get started now to understand where this technology is going. ”
In 2018, the federal government banned « high risk sellers » – including Huawei – from participating in the Australian 5G rollout because they may be subject to extrajudicial instructions from a foreign government in violation of Australian law.
Most of the Five Eyes Security Alliance members – including the US, New Zealand, and the UK – have also voted to ban Huawei along with other countries including India. The UK initially decided to add Chinese telecommunications to some of its networks but has since reversed that decision.
One of the main reasons Australia banned Huawei was because security agencies have determined that there is no way to separate sensitive “core” network functions from “radio” or broadcast parts.
Mr Mitchell said working with Huawei from the start would show that view was « wrong » and he hoped the government would take a different approach with 6G.
He said telecommunications giant Ericsson’s recent efforts to lobby the Swedish government to lift the Huawei ban indicated that the Australian government had made the wrong decision to go with 5G.
In a series of leaked text messages to a Swedish government minister, Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm threatened to move his headquarters out of the country if the ban on Huawei is not lifted.
While Ericsson has been fighting the ban on Huawei in Europe, the Swedish telecommunications company has not publicly weighed Australia’s ban.
« Ericsson in Australia has almost the monopoly . . . I think it would be nice if Ericsson in Australia and Nokia took the same approach as they did in Europe, ”said Mitchell.
“In Europe, they have always had an open and competitive environment when it comes to suppliers.
« Look at how they did research collaborations – it’s a different way of thinking about how the vendor interaction works than it is in Australia. ”
When asked if it supports Australia’s Huawei ban, an Ericsson spokeswoman said it was « designed to bring world-leading technology solutions to customers, and we are determined to push the boundaries of innovation, as we are here last done in Australia. « 130 Years ».
« Ericsson is a trusted telecommunications provider that complies with relevant laws and / or government regulations, » said the company spokeswoman.
When asked if the government has begun research into 6G technology, a spokesman for incumbent Communications Secretary Michael McCormack said the government was « focused on the efficient and timely adoption of 5G ». .
Fergus Hanson, director of the International Cyber Policy Center at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the Australian government has « an excellent ability » to provide assessments of the 5G rollout.
« I think there is ample evidence from the UK review of high risk sellers that there is a litany of problems that need to be addressed, » he said.
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Anthony is the foreign affairs and national security correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Ericsson, Huawei, 5G, Börje Ekholm, telecommunications, ZTE, Sweden, CEO
World news – AU – Huawei wants to join the Australian 6G network
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