India has finally allowed mobile carriers to carry out 5G trials in the country and has also revealed a list of equipment vendors allowed to participate in the trials and the leading telecom equipment maker Huawei is missing from the list.
The list of companies allowed for the 5G equipment includes Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung. Major carriers like Reliance Industries’ Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea will conduct the trials along with state-run MTNL in urban, rural, and semi-urban areas.
Huawei isn’t the only Chinese company missing from the list as ZTE isn’t also among the list of approved equipment vendors. While these companies are missing from the list, what’s interesting is that India has not banned Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE from supplying 5G equipment to carriers.
Initially, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea had submitted proposals to carry out trials using the technology of Huawei but later, they submitted applications wherein the trials will be done without technologies from Chinese vendors.
India is the world’s second-largest market by the number of phone users and missing out from doing business in India is a major blow. Several countries are wary of using equipment from Chinese companies because of security concerns.
A couple of months ago, the telecom department of the Indian government had said that network carriers can buy certain types of equipment from state-approved “trusted sources” and there could be a “no procurement” list of banned suppliers and companies like Huawei and ZTE are likely to be on that list.
The telecom firms have been given permission to use experimental spectrum in various bands, including the mid-band (3.2 GHz to 3.67 GHz), the millimeter-wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz), and in the sub-gigahertz band (700 GHz).