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The inclusion comes amid security concerns against the Chinese telecom equipment maker across the world. AP
The inclusion comes amid security concerns against the Chinese telecom equipment maker across the world. AP

Huawei part of DoT groups to prep India’s 5G roadmap

  • Department includes Chinese firm in panels to study 5G’s role in healthcare, fintech

After restricting Chinese investments in India and banning over 200 mobile apps, the government has now included Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei in working groups for the rollout of 5G networks in the country.

The department of telecommunications (DoT) has constituted working groups for 5G rollout in eight sectors, including agriculture, fintech, transportation and education. Huawei will be part of the working groups that will conduct a study on the 5G rollout for healthcare and fintech sectors.

The inclusion comes amid security concerns against the Chinese company globally. The UK government said on Monday that new installation of Huawei’s 5G gear will be banned from September 2021, as it seeks to phase out all Huawei networks by 2027. The US has also banned Huawei gear till May on grounds of national security risks.

Also Read Huawei’s Chinese mobile rivals look to capitalise on its US woes

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

“The objective is to conduct a study and prepare 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 technology in these sectors can be utilized and adapted to Indian requirements," the DoT said in a notification. It also seeks to invite a larger pool of experts who will be able to give industry-specific perspective and provide a direction to the study.

This will allow DoT to interact with diverse stakeholders, understand issues 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. Qualcomm Technologies will have members for industry 4.0, smart grid and education.

According to Ericsson Mobility Report of November, India 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.

“Ideally, India can’t do away with Chinese equipment due to their competitive pricing and vendor financing needs. It’s a good decision to have Huawei in the working committee as it will allow gaining perspective from a country that has somewhat similar population size and ahead in 5G. The government can keep the doors open now and finally decide not to involve Chinese firms in rolling out 5G," said Rajiv Sharma, head of equity research, SBICAP Securities.

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