Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei has said its engagement with the Indian government for 5G trials has been "positive" and hoped that India will make its "own independent decision" on the issue. The comments assume significance as the newly-appointed Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad earlier in the day alluded to the contentious issue of whether or not Huawei will be allowed to participate in the upcoming 5G trials saying it is a "complex issue" and will be looked at seriously including security aspects.
"I think it's the right time for DoT to make the decision after almost 6-8 months of very close engagement.. They are quite happy and positive in the engagement," Huawei Telecommunications India CEO Jay Chen said on the sidelines of a COAI panel discussion on 5G.
He further stated that "US puts a lot of pressure on many governments but I believe Indian government will make their own independent decision". "They (Indian government) know what's the right decision, how to make the right decision... I believe the decision (will be) based on level playing field... We are benefit to the industry and the nation, that's what I believe," he said.
Prasad, who assumed charge of the Telecom Ministry Monday, said the Huawei issue will have to be looked into "seriously" including security aspect. "We will take a firm view on it. There are also security issues...it is not only a matter of technology, as regard their participtation in 5G is concerned...Participation of 5G is not conditional upon the trial being started. Whether a particular company is allowed to participate or not, is a complex question including security issues," Prasad had said.
Last month, the Trump administration had placed Huawei and its affiliates on a blacklist, a move that essentially banned the Chinese telecom equipment company from purchasing parts and components from American firms without the US government approval. The US had subsequently relaxed some of the restrictions, to reduce disruption for its customers.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the COAI event, Vodafone Idea CEO Balesh Sharma said the company is planning to conduct 5G trials with two vendors - Huawei and Ericsson.