Wednesday, 27 November 2019 12:07

Turnbull again accused of spreading wrong information about 5G Featured

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Malcolm Turnbull is accused of spreading 5G myths again. Malcolm Turnbull is accused of spreading 5G myths again. Courtesy YouTube

Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has been accused of continuing to spread misinformation about the security architecture of 5G networks, with a Huawei Australia official claiming Turnbull was still relying on incorrect technical advice he had been given while he was prime minister.

The company said in a statement that Turnbull had made the incorrect comments to Sky News on Wednesday morning.

"It is possible to have equipment from what you might call high-risk vendors in fixed-line networks where the equipment is at the edge of the network and the risk to the overall networks because the equipment is at the very edge of the network is much less," the former PM was said to have told Sky News in response to queries about the decision taken in August 2018 to ban Huawei from tendering for 5G in Australia.

“In 5G, where my government did take the decision to take high-risk vendors out of it because of the different nature of that network, because of the virtualisation of that network and the distributed processing of it there isn’t really an edge [to the network] in the way that there is in many of the traditional fixed-line networks," Turnbull added.

The statement pointed out that the British Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology had said in a recent report to Parliament that there was a clear separation between core and (non-core) Radio Access Networks in a 5G network architecture.

Committee chairman Norman Lamb was quoted as 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.”

This is not the first time Turnbull has made statements like this. In March, Jeremy Mitchell, the company's director of Corporate and Public Affairs, accused Turnbull of spreading myths about the lack of separation between the 5G core and radio access network during a speech he gave in the UK.

Regarding his comments on Sky News, Mitchell said on Wednesday: "It is very disappointing that Turnbull continues to rely on factually incorrect information when commenting on his government’s decision to exclude Huawei from delivering 5G in Australia.

“As has been seen from multiple real-world deployments of commercial 5G networks in countries such as the UK, Switzerland, Spain and South Korea, operators are using Huawei technology in their Radio Access Networks and [equipment] from other vendors in their core networks.

“This proves unequivocally that the core and RAN networks can – and are – being split in 5G deployments in the real world – which disproves the incorrect advice he (Turnbull) was given.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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