Chief operating officer of Uninor Tanveer Mohammad shakes hands with Huawei vice-president Baker Zhou in 2015 after signing a deal to modernize India's entire telecom network. Photo: AFP

While doors are closing in some major markets for Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s 5G ambitions, one door with more potential scale for its services than any other has just been opened.

After being left out of initial Indian government invitations to participate in 5G (fifth-generation wireless) trials, Huawei has now been given the green light to take part, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.

India’s telecom secretary also complimented Huawei for helping to develop India’s telecom sector.

The Chinese firm – now the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment – has been ostracized in a host of developed markets amid a US-led campaign to discredit Huawei citing security concerns.

But if Huawei can beat out the competition to provide network equipment for 5G in India, some of those markets participating in the US-led boycott could look like peanuts in the future.

Nokia, the Finnish telecom equipment maker that is competing with Huawei, Ericsson and Samsung for the Indian prize, said this week that India needed 5G more than all of Europe.

“Even if you only have 1% of your subscribers’ base taking the service in India, that’s still 3 to 4 million people, and in Europe, that’s 100% of your subscriber base in any country,” Phil Twist, vice-president of Networks Marketing and Communications at Nokia, said in an interview with The Economic Times.

“So there is a huge opportunity and then an unserved market opportunity,” Twist stressed. He said he saw no reason India will not be able to launch 5G by 2020.

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