SYDNEY: TPG Telecom said on Tuesday (Jan 29) it decided to cease rollout of its mobile network in Australia after the country's government prohibited the use of Huawei Technologies equipment in 5G networks last year.
"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," the company said in a statement.
TPG said it had incurred expenditures of about A$100 million (US$71.66 million) in the rollout and that it was not in a position to announce any decision on its future strategy.
"TPG has continued to roll out equipment which it had ordered from Huawei prior to the government announcement, but the company has now reached the decision point for whether to place orders for additional Huawei equipment," the Australian firm said.
Huawei, the world's largest maker of telecommunications network gear, is facing pressure globally after the United States initiated measures to restrict the Chinese firm and its compatriot ZTE Corp from its lucrative market, citing security threats.
Huawei, already a supplier for Australia's 4G network, had criticised the Australian government's ban on its equipment last August, citing national security risks as being "politically motivated".
In November, neighbouring New Zealand's intelligence agency rejected the telecom industry's first request in the country to use 5G equipment provided by Huawei, citing concerns about national security.
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)