back to article Collateral carnage as ZTE sanctions see Australia’s top telco dump mobe-maker

Australia’s largest and dominant telco, Telstra, has stopped selling the ZTE devices it sold under its own brand. Telstra blamed US sanctions recently imposed on ZTE that prevent the Chinese mobe-maker from acquiring parts made by US companies. ZTE halted its production lines as a result, saying that it just can’t build …

  1. sanmigueelbeer

    Last laugh

    Last laugh will be ZTE.

    The production shut down because they couldn't source parts from the US. This will only encourage ZTE &/or China to source parts locally.

    So (cyber) industrial espionage isn't going to stop but only increase.

    I don't see how Trump's plan is actually going to work.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Last laugh

      Last laugh will be ZTE.

      Not necessarily. The "embargo game" works as long as:

      1. Embargoed nations and entities do not unite - pure divide and conquer scenario.

      2. The size of embargoed regions + dependencies does not grow to a point where they are a viable market in their own right.

      3. The embargoed nations + entities do not possess access to sufficient amount of critical resource.

      The way this game is played now violates these rules which means it can and probably will blow back. It will not be something from which ZTE will benefit by the way - unless it sets up itself as a dedicated supplier for embargoed nations.

      1. BebopWeBop

        Re: Last laugh

        see Iran I suspect.....

    2. Daniel M

      Re: Last laugh

      Please try to keep up. This was all set in motion during Obama's presidency. So, if one subscribes to the belief that the American president controls everything in the entire country, this is obviously Obama's evil plot coming to fruition.

    3. Chz

      Re: Last laugh

      Hardware? Sure, they can buy SoCs from plenty of Chinese companies.

      I'm not sure how popular their phones are going to be outside of China without access to the Google Play Store.

      1. HmmmYes

        Re: Last laugh

        Can you name many SoC that are make entirely with Chinese IP?

        I cant think of any.

        I know there's the odd MIPs rip off floating around. But IFAICT all the mobes are using EU/US SoC.

  2. Oengus

    Not quite

    Telstra hardly has a stellar reputation for customer service, so a few extra grumpy and/or panicked customers is the last thing it needs will go virtually unnoticed. FTFY

    Telstra still acts like it is the only player in town. It regularly charges higher rates than all of its competitors and their customer service ethos is virtually non-existent. Telstra is the main reason that we pay a lot more for our phone and internet connections than most comparable countries (the competitors feel that if they are just a little bit cheaper than Telstra they will attract business).

    1. Mark Exclamation

      Re: Not quite

      Are you, or have you ever been, a customer of Telstra, or are you just spouting off the common, but generally unjustified, bile that seems to be fashionable? I ask because, as a long term domestic customer of theirs, I have found their service to be reliable, and their customer service to be damn good. In the few times I have had problems with my connection, their response has been nothing short of excellent. Admittedly their prices are a little higher than other providers, but their competitors' service is far worse.

      1. Cpt Blue Bear

        Re: Not quite

        "Are you, or have you ever been, a customer of Telstra, or are you just spouting off the common, but generally unjustified, bile that seems to be fashionable?"

        I'll play. I have been a Telstra customer and we have a large number of clients who are. I reckon we see a Telstra related problem about once a week.

        The latest one was 45 minutes on the phone plus a four hour wait in order to reset an email password for a service that is scarily archaic but only six months old.

        Most of the customer service problems stem from Telstra being so Balkanised. There seem to be hundreds of tiny departments responsible for hundreds of unconnected services. No one talks to anyone else until forced to when have to go through the same tortuous phone system as outside callers. And woe unto thee who has to contact the Digital Business unit - they simply don't answer the phone even to internal calls.

        Wait until your business has been without phones for a week because the service visit was cancelled by another department (WTF?), then see if you think the bile is merely fashionable rather than totally justified.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. PatrickEB

        Re: Not quite

        Got to agree. While not a mobile customer of theirs I do use Telstra internet and they've been fantastic.

        Yes it is expensive but the connectivity and speed is worth it.

      4. Rockets

        Re: Not quite

        @Mark Exclamation

        I have found their customer service to be damn good

        You're trolling surely. I've dealt with just about every level of Telstra sales and support for mobile, landline & data services with in Telstra there is. The only decent support is their Enterprise data support but other telcos do it better there too. The worst is their BigPond & home phone support. I know I need to set aside 30 minutes on hold before I get to speak to some level1 script reading puppet in a 3rd world country that can't do stuff all except reset passwords or perform speed tests & then maybe escalate.

    2. Joe Werner Silver badge

      Re: Not quite

      That might well be the case.

      Maybe somebody can comment on my thoughts below, since I have not lived in Australia.

      My experience down under: went to visit a friend and colleague and got a SIM card from him so I have mobile internet and can make some calls. It was mostly for business, but after some time with him I went along the west coast (up to Cape Range National Park). I did have to chuck in my Norwegian SIM to keep contact with my family 'cause Vodafone had no coverage outside the bigger places...

      Two things: they do have a monopoly in some places and maybe they have some infrastructure that generates low income out there. In the first case they charge what they can get away with, the second point means that they do have to charge more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not quite

        Telstra are the provider of choice (due to the USO) for rural Australians. They are obliged to provide services, even when it is not economically viable to do so. Other providers can pick where they service, typically high population density areas.

        This does not excuse the absolute shit service that they provide. For home use, look at any other provider (if you get coverage). For business use, Macquarie telecom are about the best, for both price and service.

        1. Denarius

          Re: Not quite

          @Mark, Telstra service...... Imaginary as unicorn droppings IMNSHO. Had some hardware problems with ZTE phones. Telstra not helpful. Local phone repairer repaired units quickly and easily. Probably poor soldering. However I need external aerials where I go and am not aware of any alternative rugged phones in Oz. Cradles have a uniformly bad reputation for weak signal conditions. A daylight readable screen would be great also.

          So yes, if one lives in a high density hell hole, one has "choice" but this demonstrates Oz is an excellent example of market failure in telecoms. Keeping Telstra as a government business had its problems but the duplication of infrastructure in cities while leaving 80% of the rest of the continent at mercy of a monopoly supplier only seemed rational to bought and paid for politicians.

          And dont get me started on Telstras hellish offshore hell desk and even worse, cold calling sales weasels

    3. sanmigueelbeer

      Re: Not quite

      Telstra is the main reason that we pay a lot more for our phone and internet connections than most comparable countries

      Telstra is the main reason why Australian internet speed was SLOW.

      Getting better now since I got NBN (FTTH) installed.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    and then many others use Huawei, it will come to pass they do much the same or loose business.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Concerned (sorta)

    I happen to have a ZTE Tracfone. Are the Chinese spying on me, and if so, should I care?

    1. Denarius

      Re: Concerned (sorta)


      I was told from reliable sources that if your are in China, assume your ZTE device is totally pawned. How this is done was not disclosed. A firmware control back channel would be my guess. Needless to say, since this is a known insecurity, it is probable that other governments also use it.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "their government’s actions have blown back"

    Pushy govt actions blow back? Surely not?

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