The Indian government is yet to make a final decision on the growing concerns of allowing Chinese vendors to be part of 5G field trials in the country. Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, however, stated that the "penetration of the neighbouring country into the existing network is too extensive." Indian telecom operators relied heavily on Chinese telecom gear makers like Huawei and ZTE. In recent times, we have seen Airtel and Vodafone Idea switching to non-Chinese vendors like Ericsson and Nokia. As we all know, Reliance Jio solely uses Samsung's telecom infrastructure. The Union Home Secretary also added that the existing facilities would not be shut down unless a proper substitute is found.
India to Make Special Safeguards for Safety and Security of Communication Network
"On 5G, the government in any case has not taken any call. Discussions are still on...when it will be allowed and who are the people to be allowed. Point is very valid. The penetration of existing telecom hardware and software is too extensive," said Ajay Kumar Bhalla. He further, added that the Indian government would make 'special safeguards' for ensuring the safety and security of networks, as reported by PTI.
In recent times, we have seen Chinese telecom vendors facing the heat from various countries like the United States, the UK and more. While India is yet to make a final decision on Huawei's participation in implementing 5G, the US has banned Huawei over security concerns. The US is also asking other countries to stop working with Huawei. But with Trump losing the presidency, it will be interesting to see how Joe Biden's government will handle Huawei's ban.
That said, the Indian government in the past also admitted about the security concerns over Huawei's participation in 5G field trials, but again, a final decision is yet to be made.
As for the current state of 5G in India, we are not yet too sure when telcos are going to conduct 5G trials. Reliance Jio recently said it is developing in-house 5G equipment and also sought approval from DoT for testing the same. If at all the government auctions 5G spectrum, Reliance Jio will be the first one to launch 5G services thanks to its nationwide LTE-only network.