The government of India has thrown the doors open for vendors to take part in the country’s forthcoming 5G trials, including China’s Huawei.
The invitation was issued by telecoms minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who also confirmed that all of the country’s operators would be participating in the trials. The inclusion of Huawei is significant, as the vendor is evidently keen not to lose out on the potentially lucrative Indian market.
India’s government has aired its concerns over backdoors in Huawei’s network equipment that could potentially be used for espionage by the Chinese government, suggesting that the vendor’s gear could be avoided in 5G buildouts. The government set up a committee in June last year for the purpose of investigating the security of Huawei’s network equipment.
While the US is pressuring India to shun the vendor’s 5G network equipment, in October Huawei pledged to prove its commitment to security by complying with India’s strict security protocols. As part of this, the vendor stated that no backdoors would be installed in any of the equipment it sold to operators in India.
Huawei issued a statement in response to the announcement, saying: “We thank the Indian government for its continued faith in Huawei. We firmly believe that only technology innovations and high-quality networks will be the key to rejuvenating the Indian telecoms industry.”
India is aiming to sell 5G spectrum at auction by the end of Q1 2020.