+ Wednesday August 21st, 2019

TPG has halted the roll-out of its mobile network, which would’ve become the 4th competitor in the Australian carrier mix.

In an announcement earlier today to the Australian Stock Exchange, TPG said that because it had used Huawei equipment in its build of its carrier network, its plans to build the new network had been derailed.

TPG selected Huawei equipment because it offered a simple path to upgrade to 5G when it was necessary. However, the Federal Government’s ban on Huawei equipment in 5G networks has thrown TPG’s plans out the window:

Since the announcement of its mobile network strategy in April 2017, TPG has been in the process of designing and implementing a mobile network based principally on small cell architecture.

The principal equipment vendor selected for use in the network was Huawei. A key reason for the selection of the vendor and the design of TPG’s network was that there was a simple upgrade path to 5G, using Huawei equipment.

In light of the Government’s announcement in late August 2018 that it would prohibit the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks, that upgrade path has now been blocked.

Ultimately, in its announcement, the company said it had explored possible solutions to the problem posed, but stated it did not make “commercial sense” to pump any more money into “a network that cannot be upgraded to 5G”.

TPG’s chairman David Teoh had this to say on the announcement:

“It is extremely disappointing that the clear strategy the company had to become a mobile network operator at the forefront of 5G has been undone by factors outside of TPG’s control.”

Huawei Australia also expressed disappointment at the decision:

“As predicted, the Australian’s Government’s 5G ban on Huawei will lead to reduced competition and higher prices for Australia consumers and businesses.”

What does this mean now?

It’s a bit up in the air. TPG holds a substantial amount of 4G spectrum, and the company is also in merger discussions with Vodafone which – for the time being – don’t seem to be favourably viewed by the ACCC.

However, the opposition there was to “removing a fourth mobile network from the market”. If there’s no fourth mobile network anymore – which TPG has seemingly indicated – that opposition may change.

What it means for the consumer is somewhat less obvious. I can only agree with the ACCC’s position – even though today’s announcement changes the landscape a bit – in that not having a 4th carrier network can only mean less competition on price.

No doubt there’ll be further developments here as the ramifications become clear and we’ll keep you posted.

Developing.

Source: ASX Announcement.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Funsky
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Funsky

This is just simply the manifestation of xenophobic anti-Asian sentiment. You see it in anticompetitive regulator decisions such as blocking Singapore Airlines from having a stake in Qantas 20 years ago (but allowing British Airways to take a bigger stake) and now this anticompetitive ban on Huawei 5G. Both on the premise of national security and interest. The low brow hysteria regularly whipped up by ACA and now defunct Today Tonight eventually perculates to decision making my 2nd teir politicians voted by the infected minds of dumbos. No wonder Australia suffers from generations of brain drain, while the honest consumers… Read more »

Darren
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Darren

Wait, they are only now revealing this? Pretty sure the ban on Huawei had been there for awhile.

Les
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Les

The US government routinely leans on telecommunications companies to spy on citizens of other countries, including Australians.

I haven’t heard of one example or any evidence of Chinese equipment makers using the telecommunications equipment they manufactured to secretly eavesdrop on foreign countries.

The Australian government – in banning Huawei – should provide some evidence of this happening, before taking away the nation’s ability to have low-cost 5G internet.

Paul Warner
Ausdroid Reader

It’s not the eavesdropping that’s the concern it’s the ability of the Chinese Gov via a backdoor to shut down the network if say they invaded Taiwan and the Ozzy gov took the opposite point of view they could shut the network down.

ilobo
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ilobo

This has more to do with duplication of assets with Vodafone, had TPG continued rolling out their network, and not so much to do with Huawei. The two entities are currently head high in a merger. Why buy more spectrum, and invest in the necessary hardware, when Vodafone has already done most of the work.

Les
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Les

Whichever way you look at it, the Huawei ban will make Australia’s 5G internet more expensive.

Making 5G more inaccessible to Australians will have a hit on the nation’s economy.

htc
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htc

“Huawei ” to desperate to steal the user data. i think not just blocking them but also block those people who are advertising them and encouraging them.

Les
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Les

Block the people who advertise Huawei? You mean the TV stations that run Huawei advertisements?

Jack
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Jack

HTC your comments are invalid and dry with no evidence to support, just like the gov’s propaganda and fake news. The gov is not concern about someone steals data form the ordinary consumers like you and me. It’s all about politics and contrary ideologies. The government will keep treat China as a threat, because the country is huge, with large population, has lots of potentials, and, in a different ideology from us. So in case of conflicts, they might use the technology make us disadvantaged. Unfortunately the cold war mentality is deep in our politicians’ mind and it keeps influence… Read more »

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