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The working groups include members from Chinese vendor company Huawei, who will look at healthcare and fintech sectors. (Photo: Reuters) (REUTERS)
The working groups include members from Chinese vendor company Huawei, who will look at healthcare and fintech sectors. (Photo: Reuters) (REUTERS)

DoT includes Huawei members in working groups for 5G roll out

  • The inclusion of members from Huawei comes amid security concerns raised against the Chinese equipment supplier globally. The US has banned Huawei gear till May 2021 on national security risk.

The department of telecommunications (DoT) has constituted working groups that will explore the implementation of 5G technology in eight different sectors such as agriculture, fintech, transportation and education. The working groups include members from Chinese vendor company Huawei, who will look at healthcare and fintech sectors.

The inclusion of Huawei officials comes amid security concerns raised against the Chinese equipment supplier globally. The UK government on Monday banned new installation of Huawei’s 5G gear from September 2021 and plans to phase out all Huawei networks by 2027. The US has banned Huawei gear till May 2021 on national security risk.

Back home, India has banned more than 200 Chinese applications on national security concerns as well as due to border tensions with the neighbour. The central government, however, has not prohibited the use of Chinese telecom equipment by service providers.

The DoT has also formed working groups for application of 5G services in water and sewage management, industry 4.0 and smart grid. The working groups will study and submit a report on how 5G technology can be used in the above specified sectors. The report will also examine the global use cases of 5G and detail the ways of adopting the technology in India.

“The objective is to conduct a study and to produce a report with actionable points which brings out the use of 5G mobile technology in the respective sectors and how global use cases of 5G mobile technology in these sectors can be utilised and adapted to the Indian requirements," the DoT said in a notification.

The department has also decided to rope in more nominations/ volunteers from a larger pool of experts who can give industry-specific perspective and direct the study. This will allow the DoT to interact with diverse stakeholders, understand issues in a holistically, and help the working groups come out with a report in a time-bound manner.

Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) will lead the task of preparing the report that will have technical solutions, use cases and doable action points relating to the application of 5G services in various sectors and government projects.

All eight working groups will be headed by a TEC member. The groups will have members from telecom vendor companies Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia. US based-Qualcomm Technologies Inc will have members for industry 4.0, smart grid and education.

According to Ericsson Mobility Report of November 2020, Indian will have 350 million 5G subscriptions by 2026, accounting for 27% of the total mobile connections.

Ericsson has forecast global 5G subscriptions by the end of 2020 at 220 million as telecom service providers continue to build and develop their networks. The adoption of 5G in subscriptions and population coverage also indicates that the technology has had the fastest deployment versus other generations of mobile connectivity. By 2026, the world is estimated to have 3.5 billion 5G connections, the report said.

In India, the three largest telecom players have diverging views as far as the implementation of 5G is concerned. While Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd claims to have built an indigenous 5G solution that is ready to be rolled out as soon as spectrum is available, rival Bharti Airtel Ltd maintains that the ecosystem is underdeveloped and the airwaves are unaffordable.

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