Huawei: Indian government 'open and welcoming' on 5G

Despite reports to the contrary, Huawei says it is continuing to work on 5G tests with Indian carriers while the Indian government remains open and welcoming towards its networking solutions.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Huawei has denied reports that the Indian government has excluded it from taking part in joint 5G trials, saying it is currently proposing a set of solutions to support the government's requirements for a nationwide 5G rollout.

"Huawei is an active participant in India's growing 5G ecosystem," Huawei told ZDNet.

"Our collaboration with relevant departments and operators continues to proceed as normal. The government of India remains open and welcoming towards Huawei, and has been a fantastic source of support."

The Chinese technology giant added that its joint 5G tests with operators in India are "also moving forward according to plan".

Huawei's comments followed a report from ET Telecom saying India's Department of Telecommunications has given the nod to Ericsson -- which launched a 5G innovation lab in India in July -- as well as Nokia, Samsung, and Cisco to work with the government in trialling 5G use cases across India, with Huawei and ZTE excluded from this list.

"We have written to Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson, and Nokia, and telecom service providers to partner with us to start 5G technology-based trials, and have got positive response from them," telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan reportedly told ET Telecom.

"We have excluded Huawei from these trials."

The report follows Huawei and ZTE being banned last month by the Australian government from playing a role in any 5G rollouts due to national security issues stemming from concerns of foreign government interference in critical communications infrastructure.

Huawei slammed the Australian government's decision, saying it is not based in fact or a result of a transparent process, but rather motivated by last month's political instability thanks to infighting in the Liberal party.

"The Australian government's decision to block Huawei from Australia's 5G market is politically motivated, not the result of a fact-based, transparent, or equitable decision-making process. It is not aligned with the long-term interests of the Australian people, and denies Australian businesses and consumers the right to choose from the best communications technology available," Huawei HQ said.

Read more: Paranoia will destroy us: Why Chinese tech isn't spying on us

Over in the United States, President Donald Trump's administration has been cracking down on Chinese involvement in the American tech sphere, including with draft legislation barring the sale of national security-sensitive technology to China and blocking government or contractors from buying telecommunications equipment and services from Huawei and ZTE.

Huawei in July told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that the US should not miss out on its market-leading technology, also pointing out that its exclusion would drive up consumer costs for mobile services.

The heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA, and the director of national intelligence to the Senate Intelligence Committee had also recommended in February that Americans not use products from Huawei and ZTE, while the FCC was also advised by the Executive Branch to deny China Mobile entry to the US telecommunications industry, citing "substantial and unacceptable risk to US law enforcement and foreign intelligence collection".

Last week, South Korea's largest carrier also announced that its 5G vendors would be Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung, with Huawei left off its list.

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