ZTE Ban Forces Telstra To Immediately Drop Over 20 Phones And Broadband Devices

Image: ZTE

It appears Telstra has decided to drop its entire range of branded ZTE devices, after yesterday's news of ZTE's woes in the US that demanded the smartphone vendor cease all "major operating activities". This isn't a couple of gadgets we're talking about.

According to a post by Michele Garra, Telstra's Head of Innovation & Strategy, the company will stop selling all ZTE phones and broadband hardware, effective immediately.

That's over 20 devices, a list of which you'll find below:

Telstra-branded ZTE devices no longer available from today: Phones

  • Telstra Flip 2
  • Telstra Tough 4
  • Telstra Tough 5
  • Telstra Tough Max 2
  • Telstra 4GX Enhanced
  • Telstra 4GX Premium
  • Telstra Flip 2
  • Telstra Lite
  • Telstra Lite Smart
  • Telstra 4GX Smart
  • Telstra Smart Plus
  • Telstra 4GX Plus
  • Telstra 4GX HD
  • Telstra Easycall 4
  • Telstra Slim Plus
  • Telstra Buzz 4GX
  • Telstra T96
  • Telstra Tempo
  • Telstra Cruise

Mobile broadband devices

  • Telstra 4GX Wi-Fi
  • Telstra 4GX Wi-Fi Plus
  • Telstra Pre-Paid 4GX Wi-Fi

Garra's post mentions that Telstra is "working with [its] device partners to source alternative models" and "contacting ... customers directly to let them know that there is no immediate impact".

A new FAQ on the company's Crowd Support website repeatedly states the cessation of sales is expected to be temporary, though it's obviously unclear at the moment what form replacement gadgets will take if ZTE is unable to resolve its problems:

I have a ZTE device, should I be worried?
Your device is not affected by our decision to temporarily stop sales and you can continue to use your device as usual to make/receive calls, send text and access the mobile internet.

The gist of the FAQ is that nothing has really changed for customers with ZTE phones — warranties, repairs and support will continue as normal.



    Holy shit ZTE, you screwed up.

      ZTE did not do anything.

      The US instituted a ban on them due to fearmongering without actuall presenting any proof of their claims.

      And what they claim ZTE is doing, The US government is doing the exact same thing with US produced smarthpones.

        Uh, no. They operated in the US and Iran, for which the sanctions are very well known and have existed for a decade. And ZTE plead guilty to the offence.

        Can you show me some evidence the US Government is selling phone components to Iran? Or are you referring to the "spy vs spy" accusations in the background of all this?

          The Iran issue was settled last year, the whole reason ZTE pled guilty and paid almost a billion dollars in fines was as part of a deal with the US Department of Commerce specifically to avoid being cut off like this, a deal the US agreed to.

          This story was triggered by US intelligence agencies 'expressing concern' that Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei might be using their tech to spy on US consumers and pass the data on to the Chinese government. None of the agencies making the claim have provided any evidence to support those claims to date, the DOC has acted entirely on the concern alone.

          djbear's statement is correct in relation to this story. ZTE has not been shown to have done anything wrong since the settlement last year that would have given the DOC reason to enact further sanctions. The ban is based on unsubstantiated claims, and US intelligence agencies do appear to be doing the same thing with US electronic equipment.

            See I thought it was because they were actually still operating - but the reinstatement of the ban (as far as I can tell) was because they failed to discipline the parties involved in the original breach.
            This thing with Huawei and ZTE being government proxy spies seems to be more of an "insult to injury" and, I agree, totally hypocritical of the US. I don't believe it directly resulted in the ban, but who knows - it may have been the reason they audited them in the first place.

              I hadn't seen the part about not fully instituting the agreed discipline until yesterday, my bad on that part. Although ZTE's request for 45 days to investigate, correct and present a report seemed like a reasonable response, and they have fully implemented the discipline actions since.

              This ban obviously doesn't just hurt ZTE but also the US companies that were part of their supply chain too that were collectively doing billions in annual trade with the company, and the longer the ban goes on the more likely ZTE as one of the largest phone manufacturers in the world will switch its supply with non-US (most likely European) components, so it seems like it should be in the DOC's interests to remove the ban now that the reasons for it have been resolved.

              The reason they're not is probably more connected to Trump's little trade war bullshit with China than any real punitive reason. Personally I have a big problem with playing 'bargaining chip' with the immediate livelihood of 75,000 workers.

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