Huawei and ZTE, the Chinese telecom companies have been barred by the Department of Telecom of India from 5G trials in India. DoT also indicated that India may limit the participation of Chinese telecom companies in 5G roll-out just like Australia and the USA.
The telecom secretary stated that companies like Ericsson, Cisco, Nokia and Samsung have been asked to partner with DoT so that they can initiate 5G trials. The telecom secretary also confirmed that the plan of the government of India is to concentrate on the India-specific 5G technology roll-out. The government is planning to start the 5G trial by early 2019.
The country has already formed a high level task force for the development of 5G ecosystem. The Government believes that 5G is a trillion dollar opportunity directly and will have a multiplier effect. Earlier in the Union Budget the Government set aside $77 million to set up 5G test bed in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, Kanpur, Delhi, Bombay.
The US and Australia have already barred the Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei as the governments of both the countries are concerned that China might pose a security threat. India also followed the same path as it did not include ZTE in the list of the telecom companies as well. Even the UK also found some problem with the engineering processes of Huawei.
The other aspect is that 5G will involve a number of other industry verticals and is a huge opportunity for the vendors. The US and China are the prominent countries in a race to launch 5G technology and to gain the early advantage. The decision to ban Huawei in the US might be politically motivated to ensure that the US maintains its leadership position where upcoming technologies is concerned. This might also be the reason why Broadcom’s (Singapore-based firm) proposal to takeover Qualcomm (a US-based firm) was quashed by the Trump administration.
The Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers have been facing trouble since 2010. Indian government restricted the use of telecom equipment manufactured by Chinese companies. The government assumed that China was snooping into Indian confidential communication.
The move of the Indian government can be a huge obstruction for Huawei that claims to be the largest telecom equipment manufacturer in the world. The numbers of countries that are barring the Chinese telecom companies are increasing rapidly. Huawei has already faced a significant reduction in its revenue in India, which might or might not be because of the consolidation in the Indian market.