Huawei sheds 100 Australian jobs in the face of 5G ban

That number could grow to over 400 in the next two to five years, the company said.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

Huawei has cut 100 of its Australian employees since its telco equipment was banned from participating in the country's 5G network rollout.

In a letter to the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), the company said the number of redundancies could grow to over 400 in the next two to five years if the company continues to be banned from Australian 5G activities.

"These jobs are highly skilled, technology-based jobs that unfortunately don't seem to be being picked up by our competitors, again another major impact to the whole industry," said Jeremy Mitchell, Huawei's director of corporate and public affairs, in the letter.

Along with the announcement that Huawei has been hurting from the 5G ban, it added that it would no longer be a member of AMTA, saying the organisation had not publicly highlighted the "real effects" of the government's 5G decision.

See also: Huawei pushes past 400 billion yuan in half-year revenue

"AMTA has an important voice to ensure that these policy decisions are based on facts and the correct technology design. Clearly AMTA's decision to stay silent was in stark contrast to similar associations around the world."

By removing itself from AMTA, Huawei will also end its role with AMTA's phone recycling program and will look for alternative organisations to work alongside.

In the wake of the Huawei ban, TPG ended its mobile network rollout as working with other equipment vendors was not commercially viable. As a result, TPG has copped an almost AU$230 million accounting hit, with the largest cost being the reduction in value of its unused spectrum licences by AU$92 million. 

"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," executive chairman David Teoh said at the time. 

Huawei has had better luck in the United Kingdom compared to Australia, where UK telcos have used the company's 5G equipment for their rollouts of the next-generation network despite a report pointing out significant flaws in its equipment. The UK is still yet to make a decision however, on whether to ban Huawei equipment from its 5G networks. 

Huawei and ZTE were banned from participating in the rollout of Australia's 5G networks in August last year.

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