Mobile phone plan costs look set to soar

Security concerns spark bans on Chinese companies.

Mobile phone

Your mobile phone plan costs could be about to soar.

The Federal Government has banned Chinese giant Huawei, the biggest telecommunications supplier in the world, and tech firm ZTE, which makes mobile devices, from participating in the rollout of Australia’s 5G mobile network.

That decision will force the likes of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to buy equipment from rivals at costs estimated to be up to 30 per cent higher. Those costs will be passed on to consumers.

The ban could also mean that devices manufactured for Australia by ZTE, including smartphones and modems, will increase in cost.

The issue is security.

Mobile companies are planning to roll out the 5G network early next year. They say it will provide faster data speeds, enhanced capacity and lower latency.

“Low latency makes it very useful for emerging technologies such as autonomous cars,” says The Mandarin. “The 5G network promises the ability to improve the daily lives of Australians, strengthen our connectivity and accelerate our networks.”

Huawei confirmed late last week that it had been told by the Australian Government it was clamping down on both them and ZTE due to security concerns.

It has been alleged that Huawei was involved in intelligence sharing and cyber espionage, “with ASIO listing the company as an ‘extreme’ threat to Australian security,” The Mandarin reports.

That listing prevented it from being involved in the rollout of the NBN.

Huawei Australia says it has “safely and securely delivered wireless technology” in the country for almost 15 years. This is a [sic] extremely disappointing result for consumers.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said last week: “A long history of cyber incidents shows cyber actors target Australia and Australians. Government has found no combination of technical security controls that sufficiently mitigate the risks.”

Communication Minister Senator Mitch Fifield said the Government was committed to the “timely rollout of 5G networks in Australia” and that “5G will drive substantial economic and social benefits across the economy through new technologies that will be used in autonomous vehicles, smart cities and advanced agriculture.”

Tech website said that while the network was protected by current security controls, the 5G network, with its increased complexity, would render those protections ineffective.

Are you prepared for the inevitability of more costly phone plans? Could that be a stress point in funding your retirement?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    28th Aug 2018
    Having worked on 1G, 2G, 3G & 4G, the cost of the gear is minor compred to the revenue expectations of the Operator. There will be little need of 5G for some years. At the present time its all about 'naming rights'.cheers
    29th Aug 2018
    Good post and thanks for putting this into perspective.
    28th Aug 2018
    Good to know the government is trying to protect us from unscrupulous outside influences.
    I’m happy to pay a small amount extra for that security.

    28th Aug 2018
    Stick with 4G. No problems!
    29th Aug 2018
    Actually who really needs a mobile phone with anything other than 2G? This is a toy of convenience and its just trendy and convenient. Rarely necessary.
    28th Aug 2018
    If you do the research on 5G it has a lot of health problems for people living and working near the signal source, it is used by the military as a weapon, i can't remember the name but there was a documentary on it from Britain. search youtube
    28th Aug 2018
    Most people need 5G like they need a drain hole in their bank account
    5G is ONLY for the big end of town with 10x more mobile towers per area
    And we non users are going to pay for it (again and again)
    28th Aug 2018
    Don't need and don't want it.
    Ted Wards
    28th Aug 2018
    Umm trouble is Scott Morrison wasn't the prime minister last week until Friday night I believe it was, he couldn't of made a comment last week in time for this to go through editing and the other processes. I for one will be getting rid of my technology if the prices go much higher.. they are massively overpriced as it is compared to the rest of the world.
    28th Aug 2018
    What does '...couldn't of made a comment...' mean?
    Do you mean 'couldn't have made a comment'?
    28th Aug 2018
    What does your comment say about you, Greenie? Lacking good manners perhaps.
    29th Aug 2018
    Don't agree with your political posts but spot on here. Mobile phones are only very rarely a 'necessity'. I was forced to buy a sim card whilst overseas recently and my wife picked this correctly. You don't want to be without a phone in Italy.....but never needed one before in any other country.
    28th Aug 2018
    I only just recently got onto to 4G having to upgrade my perfectly good 3G phone that stopped working when they turned off 2G/3G in my area. I hope I don't have to upgrade again, otherwise bye bye phone and/or internet. Will have to go back to using the library internet and a phone box (are there any left?).
    28th Aug 2018
    I'd seriously doubt this issue is about being "prepared for the inevitability of more costly phone plans?" If extra cost is the price consumers will be required to pay then whatever that MIGHT be is but a mere drop in the ocean for the peace of mind that our telecommunication system is not being 'tapped' for the advantage of a foreign operator - or their masters.
    Chinese influence, ownership and control of various critical infrastructure is currently cause for a serious rethink, to quote an extract from the book: 'Silent Invasion' by Clive Hamilton - "When a Chinese state-owned company with intimate links to the military and to China's intelligence activities gets the all-clear from the Foreign Investment Review Board to control major national infrastructure, and even to buy into the NSW electricity transmission network that carries optical-fibre communications between Australian government departments, the question must be asked: Are the processes of foreign investment consideration and approval in this country in need of revision?".

    We can be thankful for the revision and even if it does cost, it will be but a small price to pay for peace of mind. It may only be a matter of time before Oz will be swamped regardless - because most people opt for the cheapest alternative.
    19th Sep 2018
    A small price to pay, whatever it may be, to ward of the massive risk to Australian sovereignty and personal security.
    19th Sep 2018
    And the way mobile costs have been plummeting recently (Check out all the prepaid unlimited call offers for around $10 mth), I cant see them going up anytime soon.
    19th Sep 2018
    Some of them are less than a month, Amaysin is 28 days renewal, and only 1gb data, so depends on how often you use your smartphone for internet and apps. You can end up paying more because they automatically give you an extra 1gb for $10 when you run out, so need to read the fine print on all of them.

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