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India to phase out Huawei from telecoms networks

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India is rumoured to have begun phasing out Huawei and other Chinese vendors’ equipment from its telecoms networks.

According to the Financial Times, the country’s various ministries have clearly indicated that local telcos should not use Chinese vendors in any future development plans, despite no official word from Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the government.

The news follows the ongoing and increasingly turbulent Sino-Indian border dispute between China and India.

Speaking to the Financial Times one telecoms executive said: “It’s open now that the government is not going to allow Chinese equipment. There is now clarity… It’s really game over.”

Another added that India’s telecoms body has “already disallowed 5G testing with Chinese vendors.”

As one of the three biggest telecoms vendors in India, Huawei already had contracts with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and state-owned telco BSNL that recent went live with its OFC subsea cable.

"When it comes to big public contracts and critical infrastructure, we would prefer non-Chinese companies," added a senior government official told the Financial Times. "That message has gotten through to Indian business."

Analyst believe that New Delhi is unlikely to ever ban Huawei formally, instead it is more likely to quietly remove the equipment from the Chinese tech giant. 

“India’s government is yet to issue an official diktat against Huawei and is playing wait and watch,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst of Greyhound Research to the Financial Times. “Irrespective, the intent is evident — that of not being welcoming to Huawei.”

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