Chinese telecoms gear maker Huawei Technologies has warned that India’s 5G ambitions could hit an air pocket if adequate compatible spectrum is not made available swiftly by the government to the telecom industry for conducting trials to hasten deployment of these much discussed ultra-fast wireless broadband networks.
“India with its sizeable young and population, hungry for digital services, presents attractive opportunities for the 5G services business, but if spectrum supply constraints of the 4G era continue, then the country’s growth opportunities on the 5G front would be hindered, Ken Hu, deputy chairman, Huawei Technologies said Tuesday.
5G, he said, is a strong technology, but business growth challenges would be imminent if India’s legacy of fragmented spectrum distribution of the 4G era continues as the country prepares to go 5G, especially amid heightened competition in the Indian telecom market.
The Huawei deputy chairman’s comments come at a time when the Indian government is yet to clear the air on whether Huawei will be allowed to participate in 5G trials in the run-up to the next spectrum sale and rollout of the ultra fast wireless broadband services.
Huawei’s deputy chairman was interacting with world media at the company’s annual global 2019 analyst meet in Shenzhen on Tuesday.
Recently, India’s telcos too had sought clarity from the government on whether they ought to go ahead and buy 5G gear from Huawei since rolling out of 5G networks would entail billions of dollars of investment.
David Wang, executive director of Huawei’s global board and ICT strategy head, who was also present, said the Chinese gear maker is deeply engaged with the Indian government and telcos in ringing in 5G services in India.
“I understand Huawei participated with industry in initial 5G trials and development of 5G use cases in India in 2018, and we see the country as a very important market for fifth generation mobility services with its large population going forward, said Wang.
Chinese network vendors, particularly Huawei, have come under global scrutiny after the US raised security concerns regarding its 5G equipment, given the vendor’s perceived proximity to the Chinese government. So much so, the US has asked its allies to ban 5G gear from Huawei. Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand have reportedly acquiesced.
Without naming the US or its allies, Huawei’s deputy chairman Hu said, “if cyber security (concerns) are politicised, it won’t merely impact Huawei, but the wider industry and trade relations, and would also slow down the speed of innovation and be a burden to society”.
Cyber security, he said, can be addressed adequately through “a technical management approach” as it is not a political challenge but a technical issue.
The Chinese telecoms vendor estimates there will be a whopping 2.8 billion 5G users by year 2025 by when 58% of the world’s population will have access to this ultra-fast wireless broadband technology.
“5G adoption will happen much more rapidly than 3G or 4G with an estimated 500 million 5G global users in the next 3 years by 2022,” said Hu.
The global 5G ecosystem, he said, is rapidly showing a high level of maturity reflected in the steady availability of chips, devices and network gear.
The first wave of 500 million customers on the 3G and 4G platforms, he said, came much more slowly, taking 10 and 5 years respectively.
Huawei, he said, is already engaged with customers in deploying 40 commercial 5G networks around the world that will be 97 times faster than 4G.
(The journalist is in Shenzhen on the invitation of Huawei)
Source: Economic Times