Keeping Huawei out of 5G play will be loss to Indian operators, consumers: Jay Chen

Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei has asserted that keeping the company out of the 5G play in India will be a “loss” to telecom operators, end consumers and vertical industries that could be potential beneficiaries of the futuristic technology.

Huawei India CEO Jay Chen told PTI that that the company does not wish to get caught in geopolitical crossfire, and that it remains committed to complying with the laws of the land.

The comments assume significance as the U.S. has blacklisted Huawei and is now persuading its allies to block the world’s largest provider of networking gear and number 2 smartphone maker from their new mobile networks.

Mr. Chen said it is now an “accepted fact that Huawei’s technology is much ahead of the industry”, and that the company is a “frontrunner in 5G”.

“So keeping us out will be loss to Indian operators, vertical industries as well as the end consumer. We are confident of the Indian government taking an independent and unbiased decision that provides level-playing-field for all players of the country, one that is guided by policy, standards and procedure and not based on the country of origin or speculative allegations lacking evidence,” Mr. Chen said.

Chinese telecom gear makers Huawei and ZTE have recently been granted permission by the Telecom Department to proceed with 5G ‘use cases’ demos at upcoming the India Mobile Congress (IMC).

Huawei on Thursday had welcomed the nod for IMC, and said the green signal sends a “positive message” and will bolster industry’s confidence to work with the company.

The company has exuded confidence that it will be given permission to participate in 5G trials in India.

Amid a U.S. push for a global ban on Huawei over “security issues” ahead of 5G adoption, Indian telecom tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal earlier this month threw his weight behind the Chinese firm, saying its products are “leading edge” and “superior” to rivals, and asserted that the firm “should be in play” in India.

Mr. Mittal’s strong endorsement for the telecom equipment manufacturer came even as U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, speaking at a World Economic Forum event in New Delhi, had said the Trump administration’s opposition to the Chinese company was not about protectionism but “genuine security risks” that go beyond the front-end equipment, percolating to even areas such as upgrades and maintenance.

Huawei had recently offered to exclusively license its 5G technology to a U.S. player to ensure a level playing field for rivals.

Asked if Huawei is open to a similar arrangement for India (a point that Mittal too had alluded to), Mr. Chen said, “For India there have been no discussions with any company on this subject. So we cannot really comment on a future speculation.”

India is yet to take a call on whether it intends to place curbs on Huawei or allow the firm to participate in upcoming 5G trials.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 4:18:42 AM |

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