In a press release today, the Government of India announced that it will allow mobile carriers to conduct 5G trials with original equipment manufacturers like Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, and C-DOT. However, there was a notable exclusion from the list, the Chinese company Huawei.
Major mobile carriers like Bharti Airtel, Reliance JioInfocomm , Vodafone Idea will conduct trials along with the government-owned MTNL in urban, rural, and semi-urban areas, according to the statement from the Ministry of Communications.
Chinese companies like Huawei and its smaller rival ZTE have not been named in these six-month long trials. These trials aim to test 5G technology and gear in varying environments.
Back in March, two government officials told Reuters about the national security implications that come with approving Chinese technology in sensitive sectors. “We cannot prioritize economic gains if an investment poses a national security risk,” said one of the officials.
Huawei and ZTE are under scrutiny for allegedly installing “backdoor” vulnerabilities to spy for the Chinese government, according to the Reuters report.
India is the world’s second-largest market by number of phone users. The Government is wary of awarding new technology business to Chinese companies mainly because of two reasons, the security concerns, and a desire to help local telecoms equipment manufacturers.
Huawei has already been banned in many Western countries like, Australia, U.K., and U.S.A because of security concerns in relation to spying.