India Reportedly Considering 5G Ban on Huawei

Chinese tech giant Huawei could be banned from participating in India’s 5G network rollout, just several months after it was given the green light to participate in the country’s trials for the technology, CNBC writes.

The latest development comes after the Indian government said it would block 59 Chinese apps such as TikTok and WeChat, claiming they were a threat to national security.

Within those discussions, Indian government ministers also discussed the country’s 5G rollout plans and whether Chinese telecommunications equipment giants Huawei and ZTE should be allowed to participate, according to a report from the Times of India.

5G refers to the next-generation mobile networks that promise super-fast download speeds and the ability to support critical infrastructure, and India has lagged behind in its rollout of the technology.

Last year, India said it would allow all vendors to participate in 5G trials with vendors. However, the latest report of a potential ban on the Chinese firms appears to make a U-turn on that decision.

Tensions between India and China have been rising over their disputed border high in the Western Himalayas and a clash earlier this month left 20 Indian soldiers dead, CNBC added

“The China-India … dispute, compounded with the economic stress caused due to the (coronavirus) pandemic, has likely forced the government thinking to adopt a strategy similar to U.S. to potentially retaliate in a way where it would hurt China the most,” Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research, told CNBC.

India’s biggest mobile network, Reliance Jio, uses Samsung for its older 4G network. The other two largest players, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Ide, use a mixture of vendors including Huawei. All three carriers have submitted applications to do 5G tests with various vendors including Huawei, Indian publication the Financial Express reported this month.

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