ZTE and Huawei are to be excluded from India’s 5G trials

India is said to be excluding Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei from its 5G trials in favour of Ericsson, Cisco, Samsung, and Nokia.

The exclusion of the vendors has become a somewhat familiar story. Just last week, Telecoms reported South Korea’s largest operator became the latest to snub Huawei.

Speaking to ETTelecom, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said:

“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 a positive response from them.

We have excluded Huawei from these trials.”

While not specifically mentioning ZTE, the government is also said not to have reached out to China’s second largest telecoms vendor.

Sundararajan did not say whether Huawei and ZTE have been excluded over security concerns similar to held by the Australian and US governments. However, ET Telecom said Huawei is in contact with the Indian government over any such concerns.

Huawei has been banned from US infrastructure for quite some time. In Australia, the company was banned from bidding for input in fibre infrastructure but was allowed to have its equipment in the country’s previous generation mobile networks.

More concerns are being held about potential foreign influence in 5G networks due to their expected use cases for critical infrastructure such as driverless cars, smart cities, and even remote medical procedures.

Huawei slammed the Australian government’s decision to ban it from 5G networks claiming it was not based in fact but motivated by last month's political instability.

On the decision, the company said in a statement:

"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 has presented the Australian government with an independent, third-party expert analysis of the Chinese laws in question: Chinese law does not grant government the authority to compel telecommunications firms to install backdoors or listening devices, or engage in any behaviour that might compromise the telecommunications equipment of other nations”

Huawei is an undeniable leader in telecoms equipment. The company has a particular reputation for its Massive-MIMO technology, with some experts claiming some aspects of the firm’s equipment is at least a year ahead of rivals.

While much of the focus has been on Huawei, its rival ZTE has not had it easy.

Back in May, ZTE was forced to suspend its operations citing a ban from US lawmakers who claim the company violated export restrictions and made illegal shipments to Iran and North Korea. The firm estimates the ban cost it $3 billion.

President Donald Trump reversed the ban, a decision that spurred accusations of corruption due to an unusually fast approval of a trademark in China with regards to his daughter’s business just days before.

With the Indian government’s decision to exclude Huawei and ZTE from their 5G trials, it seems Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturers woes in several other major markets shows little signs of letting up.

What are your thoughts on the decision? Let us know in the comments.

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