India is the world’s second biggest mobile market, with over 1.2 billion mobile connections
India is pressing ahead with plans to speed up trials of 5G technology, but has excluded Huawei and ZTE from taking part, according to reports in the Indian press.
A report in the Economic Times of India, India’s departmet of Telecoms has writtento Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia to expedite 5G trials in the country. When asked whether Huawei had been contacted, India’s Telecoms Secretary, Aruna Sundararajan told the Economic Times that the DoT had "excluded Huawei from these trials".
Huawei has been forced to defend itself in recent months against a series of allegations that it’s networks pose a national security threats to nations – supposedly by leaving "back doors" open, through which the Chinese government is able to conduct acts of espionage. So far, Huawei has faced these accusations from both the US and Australia, neither of whom have provided any evidence to substantiate their claims. Indeed, in June this year, the US commerce secretary said that he could find "no evidence" that Huawei posed such a threat.
New Delhi appears to be following in the footsteps of Washington and Canberra and loos likely to exclude Huawei from its 5G network rollout, potentially raising the cost of 5G rollout in a market where operators are already struggling with enormous quantities of debt.
Despite being excluded from the latest round of trials, Huawei remains hopeful of being involved in 5G in India further down the line.
We are in regular touch with DoT and concerned government officials. The Indian government has always supported Huawei and has been appreciative of our path-breaking technologies and solutions," Huawei told the Economic Times of India in a statement this week.