India is working to deploy affordable, secure 5G services in India, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday. Prasad also said that no case of any first world countries disapproving 5G spectrum services due to security reasons has come to its notice. During the question hour in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said the standards for IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications) 2020, also known as 5G technologies are being finalised.
In his reply to a question on a company being banned by some countries due to security concerns over 5G technology equipment, Prasad said that India is a sovereign country and it has every right to make a decision about the adoption and application of technology consistent with market conditions, in accordance with its security needs.
"Therefore this is a question where I can only say neither yes or no. That decision is going on. Till date we have not allotted 5G spectrum to anyone nor denied to anyone," said the minister in the upper house.
Prasad also said that an inter-ministerial High-Level Forum for 5G India 2020 was constituted in September 2017 to articulate the vision for the technology and to recommend policy initiatives as well as action plans to realize this.
"The High Level Forum submitted its report titled as 'Making India 5G Ready' in August 2018. Based on the report, the Government is creating an enabling framework for deployment of affordable and secure 5G services in India," Prasad said.
Prasad observed that the radio spectrum and telecom licenses awarded by the government are technology-neutral and can facilitate deployment of any network/services.
"The eligibility criteria for bidders to participate in next auction of spectrum will be decided by the Government prior to the auction. As per the information available, no case of any first world countries disapproving 5G spectrum services due to security reasons has come to our notice," the telecom minister said.
(With agency inputs)