Huawei has claimed that it can it can do field trials for the rollout of 5G in India within 20 days of getting approval from the government.
Jay Chen, India CEO of the Chinese telecom gearmaker, told media at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, “The day we get approval from the department of telecommunications and spectrum is allotted, we can get a 5G trial up and running within 20 days.”
India is targeting 2020 for the 5G rollout, but it hasn’t allocated spectrum to operators even for a trial. 5G enables secure connectivity between devices other than smartphones, such as sensors, vehicles, robots and drones. It encourages significant changes in the fields of agriculture, healthcare and manufacturing.
Huawei has been facing opposition from many governments over concerns that Chinese intelligence agencies could use its telecom equipment to spy on them. The company has denied any such possibility.
“The US is lobbying against Huawei in India, and everybody knows that," Chen told Mint.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had in February cautioned allies that deploying equipment from Huawei in their countries would make it difficult for the US to partner with them. Australia, New Zealand and Japan have already blocked Huawei from supplying equipment for 5G networks. Canada is still reviewing the alleged security threat. Huawei’s finance chief Meng Wanzhou is under house arrest in Vancouver’s Dunbar neighbourhood awaiting an extradition hearing on US fraud charges.
While Chen is confident that Huawei will be able to set up a lab for 5G trials by June this year, Indian telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan has said that the government has not yet decided to allow Huawei to participate in 5G trials.
Meanwhile, Huawei has stated that its Mate X, a foldable 5G smartphone that can be expanded into an eight-inch tablet, will not be tweaked into a 4G version for the Indian market. The USD 2,600 phone grabbed eyeballs at the MWC and is expected to take the sheen off expensive iPhones in China.