Time for universal 5G testing

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Time for universal 5G testing

In our latest Let’s Talk Huawei vodcast RMIT Associate Professor Mark Gregory told Jeremy Mitchell, Director of Corporate and Public Affairs at Huawei Australia, that it was time that the Federal Government created a level playing field in 5G Cyber Security.

“I have always argued that we should have our own ability to assure that whatever goes into our networks is safe and secure to use…I think that’s the smart move, that’s the correct way to go,” the Melbourne based academic told Mitchell.

“Now I don’t really see that getting equipment from Huawei or getting equipment from Nokia or Ericsson – which are all made in China anyway – I don’t see that there is a problem with getting that equipment and systems and testing the hell out of it – only when we believe that it is safe and secure to use should it be put in our networks.

“What we need to do is have our own capability to test the systems here, irrespective of where they’re made or who makes them because at the end of the day the security of our nation is our responsibility. It’s not the US responsibility.”

Gregory told listeners to the vodcast that only by establishing a proper end-to-end testing regime could Australia really benefit from the full range of technology available from global vendors and enjoy the competition between technology vendors that would create.

Indeed, Gregory argues that the exclusion of Huawei from the National Broadband Network back in 2010 is one of the key reasons why Australians now pay some of the highest prices amongst OECD countries for fixed-broadband.

“The first thing is that we’ve heard for the last fifty years from economists this idea that if you don’t have open and fair competition it’s going to cost consumers,” he says.

“Now we are already seeing that in Australia with broadband costing more here than most OECD countries and our competitors in APAC and the reason it cost so much is because we don’t have open and fair competition [between vendors].

“I believe we should be investing in testing because that’s going to provide us with more competition, that’s going to provide us with access to more vendors.”

Referring to the actions of the US Federal Government in trying to create their own eco-system of technology providers to deliver 5G technology Gregory said that Australia should steer well clear of the idea.

“This is simply going to be an expensive exercise that someone is going to have to pay for, the United States is not prepared to pay for anyone, except to look after its own backyard and the current President has this mantra to look after the US first – I don’t see any benefit to us by going down that path,” he said.

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