ZTE and Huawei face being locked out of India’s 5G trials

ZTE and Huawei face being locked out of India’s 5G trials

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New regulations in India are likely to result in a full ban against ZTE and Huawei participating in the country’s 5G trials.

Specifically, India has moved to ban bidders for “sensitive projects” from countries with which it shares a land border – i.e. China – following the first fatal clashes between the two nations in 45 years.

These occurred in June and, on July 23, India amended investment regulations to lock out Chinese firms. Also in July, India banned 59 Chinese apps as part of the same dispute.

A final decision on the ban is still to be confirmed but could be announced within weeks.

India’s 5G roll out has gained pace over recent months. There were hints of a collaboration with the US back in March and Jio Platforms’ 5G project has received a boost from a string of new investments.

However, the country is not immune to delays and in May it was confirmed that planned 4G and 5G spectrum auctions were to be postponed.

Now that Covid-19 lockdowns are easing, India’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) is reportedly moving to restart 5G trials with Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Vodafone Idea.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has announced that it is using its own in-house technology and that its network could be switched on with minimal cost, however given India’s current position with Coronavirus and the resulting economic impact, further delays could be experienced.

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