Despite being caught in between a technology tussle between China and the US, the Indian government has decided to allow all network producers – including Huawei – to take part in India’s 5G trials.
The government, however, cautioned that the clearance to include Huawei is only in the test phase – not in the deployment phase.
India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has invited all stakeholders on new year’s eve to craft out a 5G field trial road map. The trial for 5G was long overdue; initially, there were talks to exclude Chinese vendors but it is believed that by doing so it would increase the cost of 5G for Indian consumers by at least 15%.
Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which represents non-state telcos Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Jio, welcomes the clarity pertaining to the participation of overseas stakeholders.
The Indian mobile vendors and major global equipment makers are forming partnerships to conduct 5G trials:
- Vodafone Idea with Ericsson and Huawei;
- Bharti Airtel with Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei; and
- Jio Infocomm with Samsung.
The new year ushers in a fresh start for all interested stakeholders, as the government invited telecom operators on January 1 this year to submit fresh applications for 5G spectrum trials and airwaves within the next 10 days.