Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in India, Jay Chen, said the company was ready to start 5G trials the country in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019. He was responding to speculation that the government might ban it from supplying 5G gear.
Chen said: “We have already received the invitation from the DoT (department of telecommunications) to conduct the trials. We expect to start the trials in Q1 of 2019, which could go on for two-three quarters or longer.”
The CEO said it was in talks with the government on the specifics of cities in which trials would be conducted.
For this purpose, Huawei is planning to create an inclusive ecosystem by partnering with telecos, academics, and local vendors. As soon as spectrum is allotted for 5G, India-specific use cases would be tried out.
Huawei has been facing headwinds globally, since the US banned its entry citing security concerns over its products.
The US has also been pushing its allies to prevent the Chinese company from participating in 5G roll-outs in these countries. Responding to the call, Australia, New Zealand, and even Japan have either banned or are putting restrictions on Chinese companies.
There have been speculations that India, too, might follow suit.
Responding to the US ban and speculations about India, Chen said: “We continue to receive full support from the government and industry partners alike. The recent incident in the US has no bearing in India. We are not aware of any request from the US to India about 5G.”
Chen also said India was a key market and the company had the largest and most-localised presence here, outside China.
In 5G, too, the Chinese company had conducted India’s first network trial earlier this year with Bharti Airtel. At the recently concluded Indian Mobile Congress, Huawei demonstrated three cutting-edge use cases on live 5G network in partnership with Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.
With Bharti Airtel, it demonstrated AR-based holographic communication while with RJio with it demonstrated telemedicine-based remote diagnosis. – Business Standard