Centre may permit all telecom equipment companies, including Huawei, in 5G trials

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on June 26, 2019 Published on June 26, 2019

The Centre plans to begin 5G trials in the next 100 days and hold spectrum auctions in the current calendar year   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Committee led by the Principal Scientific Advisor to submit report on the issue soon


The governmrnt is likely to allow 5G trials by all telecom equipment companies, including Chinese firm Huawei, top sources in the government said.

The committee is looking into the 5G trials issue is also expected to table its report shortly, multiple sources told BusinessLine. Last month, the government had constituted a committee, headed by the Principal Scientific Advisor, to decide on Huawei India’s participation in the 5G trial.

“All parties (companies) are likely to be permitted on the trial of 5G…it is just a matter of time now,” a senior government official said requesting anonymity. The official said that the Committee may table its report to the Ministry of Communications within a week.

Also read: Confident of participating in India’s 5G trials, Huawei CEO seeks a level playing field

The Digital Communications Commission (DCC) — the highest decision-making body of the Telecom Department – had recently cleared norms for 5G trials. Companies including Ericsson, Samsung, Huawei and ZTE have sent their proposals to the Government for participating in the trials through their partners.

It had also approved norms for spectrum allocation for 5G trials based on the recommendations of a DoT-constituted committee chaired by IIT Kanpur Director Abhay Karandikar. The panel was tasked to give recommendations on the scope of 5G trials, as well as size, quantum, pricing and other aspects for offering experimental/trial spectrum.

Also read: Huawei asks India to take ‘informed and independent decision’ on 5G trials

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has also announced that the government plans to hold auctions for spectrum, including for 5G services, in the current calendar year and the government intends to begin 5G trials in the next 100 days.

However, the Department was sceptical about permitting Huawei for the 5G trials owing to security concerns. Recently, a senior government official had said that India has to do due diligence before allowing Huawei in any project. “Can we firewall them? What kind of assurances can we receive from them? Can we make them equally dependent on us in some way? These issues have to be looked at. It’s an issue on which India needs to be really careful,” the official had told this newspaper earlier.

Meanwhile, Huawei on Monday said that it was confident of getting permission for 5G trials and also suggested that the government should opt for a ‘no back door’ agreement from all the vendors to discourage espionage and provide a level playing field among the participants.

“I have proposed to the government that let all the original equipment manufacturers, vendors sign an agreement with the government to comfort its concerns and trust, and take them into confidence,” Jay Chen, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei India had said.

Published on June 26, 2019

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