The Australian government is not expected to ban Huawei in its bid to deploy 5G networks in the country, but the vendor will likely face new restrictions on the technologies it provides to mobile operators, The Australian reported.
Despite some politicians and security agencies pushing the government to block Huawei from being involved in the 5G rollout due to national security concerns, a source told the newspaper there won’t be a ban. The government, however, is reportedly working on legislation which will impose new security and notification requirements on operators.
If Huawei is deemed a “high-risk provider”, the new legislation could limit it to supplying only core network equipment and not radio access network (RAN) gear, the newspaper said. Previously it supplied such equipment to Optus and Vodafone Australia for their LTE networks.
The Australian government raised concerns core and RAN networks will become more closely integrated in 5G networks through software.
Tom Uren, a cybersecurity expert at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, suggested Huawei will likely face restrictions preventing it from taking part in critical aspects of 5G buildouts, News.com.au reported.
“They [Huawei] were barred from the core of the NBN network, for example, so similar high-priority parts of the 5G network might be off-limits,” he told News.com.au.
Reuters reported in early July Australia was set to ban Huawei from supplying equipment for 5G networks due to concerns over sensitive data sparked by Huawei’s alleged links to the Chinese government.
In mid-June Huawei hit back at criticism regarding the security of its equipment, promising Australian officials complete oversight over equipment including base stations, towers and radio transmission gear.
Operators previously called for talks to discuss concerns the government was preparing to block Huawei from participating in 5G rollouts.
In early June Huawei lost a contract to build a cable linking Sydney to the Solomon Islands, but in July reportedly won a contract to build and maintain radio systems to deliver voice and data services on the rail network in the city of Perth. Reports stated the deal was worth AUD136 million ($98.8 million): it will start later this month and is scheduled for completion in 2021.