The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has formed another inter-ministerial panel on 5G. The panel comprises officials from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), ministries of home, external affairs, Department of IT, Department of Science and Technology, Intelligence Bureau (IB) and National Security Council.
The panel has been formed at a time when the government is deliberating on participation of Chinese firm Huawei in 5G trials and later in rolling out telecom networks.
This is the second time that DoT has formed an inter-ministerial panel on 5G as an earlier committee headed by principal scientific adviser (PSA) K Vijay Raghavan had already submitted its report. The earlier panel also included officials from IB, ministries of external affairs, home, telecom, IT and Department of Science and Technology.
As per sources, the formation of the panel was necessary as the issue of 5G requires broader consultations on all the aspects and not just regarding Huawei. “The PSA-headed committee in its report has not recommended banning of Chinese firms in 5G trials, but its mandate was limited to trials. So we have formed the new panel that will look after all the aspects of 5G,” a source said.
In fact, following formation of the new panel, even routine decisions on 5G have been put on hold. For instance, companies are still waiting for approval for 5G tests in the upcoming India Mobile Congress (IMC), which will take place in Delhi on October 14-16. It’s a flagship event, jointly organised by the DoT and the Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI). Telecom network providers, along with mobile operators, will showcase their 5G use cases and technology during the three-day event.
“The approval will be granted after the panel gives a go-ahead. Companies like Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei have applied to showcase 5G solutions during the event,” said another source.―Financial Express