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Huawei gets 5G trial nod

Officials said all operators and vendors, including Huawei, will be covered in trials
Chinese equipment vendor Huawei
Chinese equipment vendor Huawei

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 30.12.19, 06:57 PM

The government has decided to give 5G spectrum to all players, including Chinese equipment vendor Huawei, for trial.

“The age of 5G is coming. We are working together for all this. We have taken a decision to give 5G spectrum for trials to all the players,” telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. He was speaking at the launch of the Central Equipment Identity Register to facilitate blocking and tracing of stolen or lost mobile phones in Delhi.

“5G is the future, it is speed. We will encourage new innovation in it,” he said.

Officials said all operators and vendors, including Huawei, will be covered in trials. However, the permission to conduct trials does not automatically mean approval for a commercial rollout.

The department of telecommunications will accord this trial spectrum to all telecom service providers who can then choose to team up with vendors such as Nokia, Huawei, Ericsson and Samsung. The DoT will hold a meeting with all the vendors on Tuesday.

Sources indicated that the trials could start next month.

Reacting to the developments, Jay Chen, CEO of Huawei India, said: “We firmly believe that only technology innovations and high quality network will be the key to rejuvenating the Indian telecom industry. We have our full confidence in the Modi government and industry to develop best technology for India’s own long term benefit and also for cross industry development.”

5G is the next-generation technology for wireless communications that is expected to exponentially improve data speed and power Internet of Things. Next-generation 5G networks, which can provide data speeds at least 20 times faster than 4G, are seen as vital for emerging technologies such as self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.

The Digital Communication Commission (DCC), the highest policy making body of the telecom ministry, earlier this month had approved the spectrum auctions to be held in March-April, while making no change in the reserve pricing of the radiowaves decided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

The auction will see 5G spectrum being sold for the first time. 

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