Amid the rising demand for bringing the fifth-generation (5G) technology of mobile networks in India as soon as possible, the government is now looking to kick start the trials for this technology in India.
While there have been certain concerns about allowing Chinese network operators to participate in these trials, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the government has decided to allow all stakeholders to show use-cases of 5G in India, including China-based networks such as Huawei and ZTE.
According to ET, Prasad said that the government has taken an in-principle decision to allow all stakeholders to participate in 5G trials. “5G is future, it is speed. We will encourage new innovation in 5G,” Prasad added.
US Alarms India For Using Chinese 5G Operators
Recently, amid concerns of Chinese telecom companies spying for Chinese authorities, the US has also alerted the Indian government about the risks which might come by allowing these networks to operate in the country.
Earlier, the US state department’s spokesperson Morgan Ortagus had said that while 5G networks will play a crucial role in the coming times, the stakes are too high to allow Chinese companies, which are under the control of authoritarian regimes, to provide this technology.
Ortagus further added Chinese telecom companies such as Huawei and ZTE must comply with the directives of the government and should work towards preventing misuse of data. “All countries should adopt national security policies in order to prevent untrusted companies from misusing any part of their future 5G network plans,” he added.
As of now, the road to 5G isn’t clear yet in India. However, Prasad, in the Rajya Sabha on December 12, said that the government is working on finalising the framework for 5G technologies. “The government is creating an enabling framework for the deployment of affordable and secure 5G services in India,” he had previously said.
While currently, the government is looking to start 5G trials, it has reiterated its focus on 5G spectrum auctions, including 5G airwaves, which is scheduled to be held by March 2020.
According to a 2019 Ericsson report, 5G network will make inroads in India by 2022. On the other hand, the US has already started testing 5G networks in selected regions. In addition to the US, 5G is also available in South Korea and parts of Europe.