The government has decided to give 5G spectrum for trials to all players, including Huawei. “We have taken a decision to give 5G spectrum for trials to all players,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
An in-principle decision has been taken in this regard, Prasad said at an event here. “5G is future, it is speed. We will encourage new innovation in 5G,” he added. Sources said all operators and vendors, including Huawei, will be included in trials.
For Huawei this will be good news, considering there was uncertainty over whether it would be allowed to participate in the trials. The Indian Express had reported in August that if Huawei would not get the clearance, it would lose to 5G rivals such as Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson.
Huawei’s gear is cheaper and more cost-efficient for domestic telecom companies, and this decision of the government that all vendors will be included in the trials will come as a relief for the Chinese telecom major which has been facing trouble from the US government.
Countries like Australia and New Zealand have banned Huawei from 5G trials. UK’s British Telecom has said it would phase out Huawei tech from its existing 4G network by 2021, and not use it in 5G core networks.
The US effectively banned Huawei from selling its products calling it a security risk. It claims Huawei’s equipment poses a risk because of back-door installations in its systems that could leak data. The US has also claimed that Huawei’s owners have close links with the Chinese military, a charge that the company has denied. The US has been warning other countries from relying on the Chinese telecom player for their 5G networks.
It was also reported that Huawei India ready to sign a “no back-door” agreement with the Indian government when the concerns were being raised over a potential ban.
With PTI inputs