In its report, submitted to Parliament on Wednesday evening, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts also called for improving competition in future spectrum auctions, talks to manage aging equipment, and an investigation of ways in which 5G infrastructure could be made in Australia.
"This may be done initially via the Department of Industry, Science and Technology working with Australian telecommunications and related industry partners to examine how Australia could actively participate in the manufacture of components and equipment for use in the rollout of 5G networks - and that manufacturing partnerships be considered with Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States," the panel said.
Australia banned the world's biggest 5G provider Huawei Technologies and another Chinese firm, ZTE Corporation, from tendering for the 5G rollout in August 2018, claiming that they would be a security risk. No proof has yet been provided to back up this claim.
As there are only three companies that can supply end-to-end 5G solutions — Huawei, Sweden's Ericsson and Finland's Nokia — there has been tremendous pressure on the other two companies to meet demand. Despite American pressure, Huawei has now concluded about 90 deals for 5G rollouts.
In view of the ban, the panel also recommended that the government look afresh at laws around network and data security for supplies of 5G equipment.
Given that the committee attracted a huge number of submissions arguing against the rollout of 5G on the alleged ground of adverse health effects, the panel asked the he Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency to "implement a suitable mechanism to consult with members of the community regarding the safe levels of electromagnetic radiation".
The coronavirus pandemic has affected 5G rollouts around the world, with one of the few countries to move ahead being China. Thus, the hype around the technology has also died down.
Apple is yet to bring to market a 5G device and when it does so that will be a major factor in moving things forward. Even then, 5G will finally take off only when models that take advantage of the standalone 5G New Radio specs are launched.
But for that to happen, the rollout of 5G needs to be near its end. Else there will be no network of which to take advantage.