Although India claims it will begin trials for the introduction of 5G technology in 100 days, it is still undecided whether Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd will take part.
The newly-sworn in Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the auction of the 5G spectrum will take place this year, but claimed a decision on Huawei has not taken place. The Minister said Huawei participation it the 5G trials is a complex issue and a decision will be taken after assessing the security aspects, Press Trust of India reports.
Apart from Huawei, ZTE Corporation is the other Chinese company vying for 5G field trials in India.
The auction price for 5G rollout continues to be a sticking point. While Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies, including those for 5G services, at an estimated total base price of 4.9 trillion rupees (US$70.8 billion), telecom companies claim the price tag is too steep and they cannot afford it.
The Minister said he hopes that either the Parliament’s standing committee on telecom or the finance committee will provide a solution on pricing 5G. He said the government wants to also use 5G technology for social causes, education and health, and for bringing technology to rural people.
The US administration last month placed Huawei and its affiliates on a blacklist, effectively banning the telecom equipment company from purchasing components from American firms without government approval. The Americans consider Huawei to be a security threat.
Also Read: US ban on Huawei to affect Indian business
Following this Google decided to suspend ties with Huawei. This move is expected to deprive Huawei of the ndroid operating system and of Google Media Services, which includes Gmail, Maps and access to Play Store. World-leading chipmakers Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom are also in the process of cutting off their dealings with Huawei.
In India, Huawei sells mobile-phone handsets and supplies gear to telecom companies. Both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel are using Huawei’s 4G gear in several telecom circles.