Wednesday, 01 January 2020 05:52

India gives Huawei go-ahead to take part in 5G trials Featured

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India gives Huawei go-ahead to take part in 5G trials Image by Simon Steinberger from Pixabay

The Indian Government has given Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies the go-ahead to participate in the forthcoming trials of 5G networks.

The CNBC-TV18 site quoted an unnamed senior official as saying the trials, which would be open to all wireless operators in the country, would be held this month.

The report said the auction for 5G spectrum would be held before March, citing a statement from Telecommunications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

In September 2018, there were reports that Huawei and another Chinese firm, ZTE, had been banned from the trials. That report emerged a week or so after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi for a so-called India-US 2+2 Dialogue.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump announced that a first-stage trade deal would be signed with China on 15 January, the first step in ending a long-running trade war that has seen the US ramp up its targeting of Huawei.

The US campaign has been running for a number of years, trying to prevent the company from being signed up for 5G contracts in countries Washington considers allies. Thus far, apart from the US, only Australia has made a public statement about banning Huawei from participation in any 5G rollout.

Japan and Poland have been reported to be taking a similar stance, but have not made a public statement to that effect as yet.

The Trump administration placed Huawei and 68 of its affiliates on its Entity List on 16 May 2019, meaning that the company would have to seek permission to purchase any American components it needed to manufacture its products.

On 21 May last year, the US Commerce Department eased some of the restrictions until August, allowing Huawei to maintain and update existing networks and handsets. The company has since been granted two more extensions.

There have been reports recently that Huawei is assembling its latest smartphones with non-US technology.

India is considered a US ally, but also has close ties to Russia and Iran, both now sworn enemies of Washington.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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