5G is considered, arguably, the next-big-thing in tech. It is expected to be the force that will drive the next wave of tech — IoT, AI, ML etc. While many countries have started testing 5G for commercial purposes, India is yet to start testing the technology. There is an update on that end though.
Despite a rather slow pace of 5G testing deployment across the country, the development of infrastructure for 5G in India seems to be moving forward at its own pace. Now, the Indian government has revealed that it has decided to give 5G spectrum for trials to all players, including the highly controversial Huawei.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, telecom minister said: “We have taken a decision to give 5G spectrum for trials to all players. 5G is future, it is speed. We will encourage new innovation in 5G.” He also added that an in-principle decision has been taken in this regard.
As per the report, citing sources aware of the development, all the operators and vendors, including Huawei, will be included in trials. This new 5G chunk — bands of 24.75-27.25 GHz — is separate from the ₹5.22 lakh crore spectrum sale plan approved by the Digital Communications Commission on December 20th. Under this plan, 8,300 MHz of airwaves across 22 circles are set to be put on block in March-April 2020.
Huawei has been under the lens, ever since the company came under the scanner in the US for alleged back-channeling of data to the Chinese government. Such has been the impact, that all of it has contributed significantly to the US China trade war. However India it seems, is unearthed by these allegations. In a more geo-political perspective, this development becomes important, considering that China had already reportedly warned India earlier this year of reciprocatory sanctions, if Huawei was kept out of the 5G trials. Intense lobbying from the Chinese has finally resulted in Huawei being a part of the 5G trials in the world’s fastest growing telecom market.
Huawei on its end, has been dealing with US blackout by spending billions on developing its own software platforms for the hardware it manufactures. The starting point for this has been company’s HarmonyOS, an Android replacement for which the company is offering over a billion dollars to devs across the globe, for developing apps. This announcement was a repercussion of US govt.’s blanket ban on US companies offering services to Huawei.
With auction for the 5G spectrum coming up, the Indian government had earlier stated that there’s no plan to reduce prices of 5G spectrum. This comes as industry bodies and telecom operators have been demanding a revision in the proposed base price for 5G spectrum auction, claiming the rate was too high.