The government allowed mobile carriers to carry out 5G trials with device manufacturers, including the network unit of Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung, the government said on Tuesday but China’s Huawei was not named among the participants. The Ministry of Communications said in a statement that Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea of major carriers Reliance Industries will conduct trials with state-run MTNL in urban, rural and semi-urban areas.
Huawei and smaller Chinese rival ZTE were not mentioned among the network equipment suppliers participating in the statement. Huawei declined to comment, while ZTE and the Indian Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment regarding the list of companies involved.
While India has not nominated Chinese players to participate in the six-month trials aimed at testing 5G gear and technology in different environments, it has not banned carriers to supply them 5G equipment.
Two government officials told Reuters in March, however, that New Delhi would block mobile carriers from using telecommunications devices made by Huawei, under procurement rules due to come into effect in June.
India is the second largest market in the world by number of phone users. Officials said Chinese companies are concerned about being awarded the new technology business due to security concerns, government sources have said before, and have a desire to help local telecommunications equipment manufacturers.
The government’s Department of Telecommunications said in March that after June 15, carriers could only buy certain types of equipment from state-approved “reliable sources” and said that New Delhi could also make a “no purchase” list of banned suppliers.
Huawei and ZTE are likely to be included in this list of Reuters reported in March.