Department of Telecom (DoT) has granted Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei permission to conduct 5G 'use cases' demos at upcoming India Mobile Congress (IMC). In response to the DoT's nod, Huawei said the green signal sends a "positive message" and will bolster the industry's confidence to work with the company. India Mobile Conference (IMC) is scheduled to be held in New Delhi between October 14-16.
Of late, Huawei is facing a lot of trouble over national security concerns raised by the Trump administration. The US has blacklisted Huawei and is now persuading its allies to block the world's largest telecom networking gear provider and the second-biggest smartphone maker, from their new and upcoming mobile networks. According to a report published in the New York Times, the Trump administration plans to issue licenses to U.S. companies to supply “nonsensitive goods” to Chinese tech giant Huawei, in a move that might help to cool tensions ahead of trade talks.
Amid a US push for a global ban on Huawei over "security issues" ahead of 5G adoption, India's telecom tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal last week threw his weight behind the Chinese firm saying its products are "leading edge" and "superior" to rivals, and asserted that the firm "should be in play" in India. Responding to Mittal's remarks, Huawei India CEO Jay Chen said he was pleasantly surprised to hear Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal supporting the Chinese telecom gear company.
While the US hopes countries such as India will shut their door to Huawei, for the telecom services industry, it is not an easy call since switching to rivals could mean ripping out the Huawei-built 4G foundations they had planned to bolt their 5G gear onto. Meanwhile, the central government has made it clear that it will keep national interest in mind while deciding whether Chinese gear maker Huawei should be allowed to participate in 5G trials in the country.
India is yet to take a call on whether it intends to place curbs on Huawei or allow the firm to participate in 5G trials.
(With PTI inputs)
Picture: Ravi Shankar Prasad / India Mobile Congress