India to include Huawei for 5G network trials despite security concerns

Indian government has decided to allow all mobile operators and telecom equipment suppliers for conducting 5G trials.
Huawei 5G base station in China
Top 5G telecom equipment suppliers in India include Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE and Samsung. The development assumes significance because China’s Huawei is currently facing scrutiny in several global markets in the wake of security related issues.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, said: “all companies will be allowed for the 5G trials.

Telecoms such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio are expected to participate during the spectrum auction next year. India aims to sell 5G spectrum to ensure that Indian telecoms will enhance mobile broadband speed. India government earlier said 6,050 MHz spectrum will be available for 5G during the spectrum auction that will be conducted in March / April 2020.

The statement from Ravi Shankar Prasad indicates that India government will not block Huawei from conducting 5G trials in India.

Meanwhile, the United States (US) telecommunications regulator FCC voted in November to designate Huawei and ZTE as national security risks, barring their US rural carrier customers from tapping an $8.5 billion government fund to purchase equipment or services.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asked carriers to remove and replace equipment from such designated companies.

The European Union earlier said potential 5G suppliers will be evaluated based on their home country’s laws, a stance that could exclude Chinese businesses from some lucrative contracts for the advanced telecommunications networks.

Factors, such as the legal and policy framework to which telecom network suppliers may be subject to in third countries, should be considered, Bloomberg reported.

Key parts of the next-generation infrastructure such as components critical for national security, will only be sourced from trustworthy parties, according to the draft statement of EU governments.