30/03/2020 - 12:12

Huawei dumped for rail radios

30/03/2020 - 12:12

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

Late on Friday afternoon, the state government revealed a $205 million contract with Chinese telco Huawei and contractor UGL to replace radio systems in the rail network had been cancelled because of trade restrictions.

Huawei dumped for rail radios
Huawei deputy chairman Ken Hu at a company summit last year.

Late on Friday afternoon, the state government revealed a $205 million contract with Chinese telco Huawei and contractor UGL to replace radio systems in the rail network had been cancelled because of trade restrictions.

The Huawei and UGL consortium had been awarded the work in July 2018 and had been due to commence that month, upgrading the communications system from analogue to digital.

It involved building and maintaining the radio systems across 180 kilometres of rail network, with about $125 million for construction and the remainder for maintenance.

But Huawei’s relationship with the Chinese government proved controversial, with the company being banned from building the 5G network in Australia and the US government bringing criminal charges against the company.

Despite assurances from Huawei the contract could be delivered despite trade restrictions, the state government eventually decided it would be too costly, add uncertainty, and delay the timeline for a workaround to be developed.

The Public Transport Authority is now working with the consortium to determine if Huawei will withdraw or if it will be terminated.

"The PTA will continue its plans to deliver a new digital radio system for our expanding public transport system,” Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said.

"It is extremely unfortunate that the state government's project - which is limited to a radio network for train drivers and transit guards - has been caught up in the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China.

"Given the trade dispute, and the current economic and health crisis facing the world, the PTA has recommended a fresh approach for the radio replacement project.

"We'll continue to work towards the delivery of a high-quality radio system at the best possible price for taxpayers."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options