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Hopeful India Will Make Independent Decision On 5G: Huawei

Chinese telecom equipment firm Huawei Technologies, which has got approval to take part in the demonstration of 5G during the three-day India Mobile Congress starting here on Thursday, said it is hopeful that the Indian government will make independent and fair decision on 5G for the country’s long-term benefit, based on verifiable facts and technical data rather than ideology or the vendor’s country.

“We are thankful to the Indian government for its continued trust and support towards Huawei. We believe it is the expectation of the industry that all vendors and participants should come to this premier show with their latest solutions showcase. This is also the format on which IMC has been designed. We will continue to collectively showcase our leading solutions along with all other participants to make IMC a success,” Huawei India CEO Jay Chen told IANS.

The government’s nod for Huawei to participate in demo with the operators like Airtel and VodafoneIdea ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting at Chennai on October 11.

Asked if Huawei is looking forward to Xi taking up the Huawei approval issue for the 5G trials with the Indian government, Chen said: “Huawei is not privy to any government-to-government level talks, so we cannot really comment on the upcoming visit. Huawei believes that the Indian government will make independent and fair decision on 5G for the long-term benefit of India, based on verifiable facts and technical data rather than ideology or a vendor’s country of origin.”

The nod for IMC showcase participation came even as the government is yet to take a decision on allowing the firm to participate in the upcoming 5G field trials.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has assigned telecom service providers with spectrum in the 3400-3600 Mhz band range to demonstrate India-specific 5G technology-use cases along with their vendor partners, which include Huawei as well. It is understood that Huawei will be partnering with VodafoneIdea and Airtel at the event.

Recently Huawei got big support from the country’s top operator Airtel, when Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Mittal, at the global forum of World Economic Forum’s India summit, said: “My view is they should be in play, Huawei over the last 10 or 12 years has become extremely good with their product, to a point where I can safely say today their product … is significantly superior to Ericsson and Nokia.” He added that Airtel has been using equipment from all three companies in its 3G and 4G networks.

Mittal’s endorsement came right after US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross stressed the US administration’s view that Huawei poses a security risk – claims the company has repeatedly denied – and urged India to take the threat seriously.

India is still planning its 5G networks, which it aims to roll out by next year, and has not yet ruled out Huawei’s involvement.

Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told lawmakers in June that Huawei was among six companies that had submitted proposals to participate in the 5G trials, and a special committee has been appointed to examine potential security concerns.―NDTV

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