New Delhi has said that it would let Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (華為) take part in trials for the rollout of 5G services in the huge Indian market, giving the firm a major boost as it battles US sanctions.
The US government has banned Huawei from working with US firms, calling it a security threat because of alleged close ties to the Chinese government.
The company has denied the accusation by Washington.
Washington, which also banned US companies from selling equipment to Huawei, had lobbied hard for India to freeze Huawei out of its 5G communications network.
“We have taken the decision to give 5G spectrum for trial to all the players,” Indian Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said late on Monday.
The minister acknowledged that Huawei, the global leader in telecom networking equipment and a major player in India’s smartphone market, would be among the companies taking part in the trials expected to start this month.
With 451 million monthly active mobile Internet users, India is second behind China in the world Internet users rankings, the Internet and Mobile Association of India said.
The Indian move came after European telecoms including Norway’s Telenor ASA and Sweden’s Telia Co AB passed over Huawei as a supplier for their 5G networks as intelligence agencies warned against working with the company.
Australia and Japan have also taken steps to block or restrict the firm’s participation in their 5G networks.
Britain has yet to take a decision on Huawei, but the company has provisionally secured 5G deals in countries such as Germany.
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