Turnbull still getting it wrong on 5G ban

Jeremy Mitchell; Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Huawei Australia Jeremy Mitchell; Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Huawei Australia

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It is very disappointing that former Prime Minister Mr. Malcolm Turnbull still continues to rely on factually incorrect information when commenting on his government’s decision to exclude Huawei from delivering 5G in Australia – the Australian people deserve to be told the truth on this matter.

Following the 5G ban Mr Turnbull told Australians that the ban was imposed because 5G technology required a different network architecture to 4G networks but real world 5G deployments have now shown that to be completely false.

Indeed, two separate UK Parliamentary committees have found that the core and radio access networks can and will be split in 5G and this is now being done by operators all over the world – including right now in the UK.

Mr Turnbull is now claiming that his government had fears that Huawei would somehow shut down access to 5G networks on the orders of the Chinese government – this is absolutely absurd.

Huawei simply supplies technology to mobile network operators we have absolutely no control over those networks or access to them without the express permission of the operators – let alone have the ability to shut down access to them.

Mr Turnbull seems very concerned that the Chinese government will be able to control Huawei technology and yet seems completely ambivalent about the fact that both Nokia and Ericsson manufacture their 5G equipment in China in factories that are joint-owned with the Chinese

During our engagement with the Turnbull government we made it absolutely clear we would take whatever measures were necessary to mitigate any perceived risks identified.

Indeed, our founder Mr Ren Zhengfei has made it quite clear that he would rather shut down the entire company rather than take any actions from any government that would harm the interests of our customers.

Huawei has worked closely with security agencies around the world to help find solutions on risk mitigation on 5G and we continue to be willing to do the same with Australian security agencies.

5G is the last chance to get world class broadband to as many Australian’s as possible, we can’t afford another NBN like mistake.

Jeremy Mitchell, Director of Corporate and Public Affairs at Huawei Australia

Further reading

1] UK-based researcher Ovum published its Facts on 5G report on July 29th confirming the point that securing 5G networks remained “similar to 4G.”

“5G security is an evolution of 4G security. 5G introduces new technologies, particularly support for virtualizing core network control plane functions. This requires some new security features. However, the overall 5G security architecture builds on 4G.

“The Core/RAN distinction is maintained. The basic security architecture of mobile communications, including RAN/core separation, does not change in 5G.”


2] ‘Australia pays for Malcolm’s 5G muddle’ – http://huaweihub.com.au/australia-pays-for-malcolms-5g-muddle/

3] The UK Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology found in its report to the UK Parliament there is a clear separation between Core and (non-core) Radio Access Networks in a 5G network architecture with the committee chairman, Norman Lamb MP, saying:

“Although the Australian Government has concluded that the distinction between core and non-core elements of 5G networks will be less clear than for previous technology generations, we heard unanimously and clearly that a distinction between the core and non-core elements of a 5G network will still exist.”


4] Ian Levy, Technical Director of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, which has been auditing, evaluating and testing Huawei equipment for the UK Government for more than seven years, confirmed in a Blog there would be no fundamental change in the architecture of 5G and current 4G networks.

“In the UK, we currently reckon that we’ll push core services out maybe as far as large metropolitan areas. Securing those should be broadly the same as the way we secure things today, you just have to do it more often. So, again, 5G changes things in interesting ways from the way we do things today, but not in a way that fundamentally breaks all our current security principles and paradigms.”



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