India will allow mobile carriers to carry out 5G trials with equipment makers including Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung’s network unit, the government said on Tuesday, but did not name China’s Huawei among the participants.
However, a section of India’s broadcasting community had raised concerns about re-allocating certain C-band spectrum for 5G services as that could lead to possible disturbances in the broadcast services.
Meanwhile, Reuters, quoting an official Ministry of Communications statement, reported that major carriers Reliance Industries’ Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea would conduct the trials along with state-run MTNL in urban, rural and semi-urban areas.
The statement did not mention Huawei and smaller Chinese rival ZTE among the participating network equipment suppliers.
Huawei declined to comment, while ZTE and the Indian ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment by Reuters about the list of companies involved.
While India has not named the Chinese players as taking part in the six-month trials, which aim to test 5G gear and technology in different environments, it has not banned them from supplying 5G equipment to carriers.
Two government officials told Reuters in March, though, that New Delhi will likely block mobile carriers from using telecom equipment made by Huawei, under procurement rules due to come into force in June.
India is the world’s second-biggest market by number of phone users. Authorities are wary of awarding new technology business to Chinese companies because of security concerns, government sources have previously said, and a desire to help local telecoms equipment manufacturers.
The official government statement, seen by Indianbroadcastingworld.com, also states that the experimental spectrum was being given in various bands, which include the mid-band (3.2 GHz to 3.67 GHz), millimeter wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz) and in sub-gigahertz band (700 GHz).
“TSPs (telecom service providers) will also be permitted to use their existing spectrum owned by them (800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2500 MHz) for conduct of 5G trials. The duration of the trials, at present, is for a period of six months. This includes a time period of two months for procurement and setting up of the equipment, the statement said.