The National Broadband Network (NBN) is a \u201ccatastrophe\u201d that has \u201cfailed to deliver on its promise\u201d according to Huawei Australia\u2019s chief technology officer.\nDavid Soldani delivered his scathing attack at a 5G conference in Sydney this morning, where he told delegates that high-speed broadband for all Australians \u201cis just not going to happen\u201d.\n \n\u201cAs the completion of the National Broadband Network comes into view it\u2019s time to face a very simple fact: The NBN project has failed and Australians needs to stop expecting NBN Co to deliver high-speed broadband to all Australians \u2013 it is just not going to happen,\u201d Soldani said.\n \nThe executive criticised the Federal Government, the major political parties, NBN Co and Telstra for their role in the \u201cfailed\u201d roll out.\n \n\u201cAustralia has somehow managed to invest $51 billion on a network that can\u2019t even deliver 50Mbps to around one million of its fixed-broadband end-user premises,\u201d Soldani said.\n \nDespite the huge cost, many end users are getting \u201cworse speeds than many were getting on old ADSL services\u201d Soldani said.\n \nThe \u201cmost extraordinary part of the NBN Co fixed wireless debacle\u201d was the lack of scrutiny of the sole vendor responsible, Soldani said.\n \nStop pretending\n \nNBN Co in June revealed it wanted Australia\u2019s spectrum regulator to leave open the option of the government-owned company acquiring licences for so-called mmWave frequencies \u2013 which power 5G \u2013 to help combat the capacity squeeze of its fixed wireless service.\n \nThe company has waged an ongoing battle withthe capacity constraints of its fixed wireless service. An $800 million initiative to boost capacity on the service led to thecompany revising the expected cost of the NBN rollout.\n \n\u201cIndeed, rather than the Federal Government ask serious questions about how they may be culpable for what has gone wrong with NBN fixed wireless they have actually delivered them an even bigger role in delivering our crucial 5G infrastructure by excluding Huawei from the 5G market,\u201d Soldani said.\n \n\u201cFirstly, let\u2019s stop pretending that NBN Co can do this whole thing by itself \u2013 we now know that it can\u2019t. There is simply no more money in the pot. That\u2019s it,\u201d he added.\n \nNew models are needed to deliver 5G fixed wireless services to areas without the NBN, and without NBN Co, Soldani continued.\n \n\u201cWe know that in these outer-suburban and regional areas that the mobile operators have plenty of spare spectrum available because there is very low population densities in those areas. So, using the hugely successful mobile blackspot program as a template why not encourage the mobile network operators to extend their regional networks and use that available spectrum to deliver 5G fixed wireless services to consumers?\u201d he asked.\n \nSoldani added that it made little sense to allow NBN Co to move forward with 5G fixed wireless services given the network\u2019s \u201cproblematic pricing model\u201d.\n \nBan \u201cmakes no sense\u201d\n \nSoldani argued that given the bigger role 5G fixed wireless services would play in delivering universal broadband, the government \u201cshould finally allow Australians access to the best 5G technology available\u201d, that is, Huawei\u2019s.\n \nHuawei revealed in August that it had been informed by the federal government that it would not be permittedto supply 5G equipment to Australian telecommunications carriersfollowing advice from national security agencies.\n \nIna speech in October, the head of the Australian Signals Directorate, Mike Burgess, said the decision to stop telcos from using \u201chigh-risk vendors\u201d to source equipment for their 5G rollouts was \u201cnot taken lightly\u201d and followed an \u201cextensive review of the national security risks to 5G networks\u201d.\n \nLocal mobile network carriers have been left to choose between Nokia and Ericsson in order to roll out the next-generation cellular technology. Telstra has a long-standing partnership with Ericsson. Optus, which has used some Huawei gear in its 4G network, has opted for a multi-vendor approach.\n\u201cIt makes no sense for Australia to continue to exclude the world\u2019s leading 5G technology provider from the marketplace,\u201d Soldani said.\n \nSoldani pointed to Huawei\u2019s technology being used for 5G launches by EE in the UK and Vodafone in Spain.\n \nEE in May said its 5G network would rely on Hauwei equipment, although it was removing Huawei networking equipment from its core network.\n \nThe UK government is considering a partial ban of the company, under pressure from the US government where agencies and companies are banned from purchasing equipment and services from it.\n \nBoth EE and Vodafone have both pulled a Huawei smartphone from 5G launch line-ups, chiefly over uncertainty about support by Google\u2019s Android.\n \n\u201cThe technology is already there to solve the challenges Australia is facing \u2013 there is no doubt about that \u2013 what we need now is for that technology to be allowed to do what it was designed to do and for our leaders to recognise that we need to adopt a different approach with regard to delivering universal high-speed broadband,\u201d Soldani said.