The Indian government said its 5G spectrum auction will take place in the second half of next year

Chinese vendor Huawei confirmed that it has been invited by the Indian government to conduct 5G trials in the country, which are scheduled to start early next year, Indian press reported.

The Indian government initially did not invite Huawei to take part in the 5G trials but has now formally invited Huawei by request of the company, according to the reports.

Telecom equipment suppliers Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung will also be taking part in the 5G trials. Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE has previously said that it is already working with Indian carriers to provide end-to-end solutions for the future launch of 5G technologies. ZTE said that leading Indian operators have already started 5G tests and verification with its products.

The Indian government expects to hold inter-ministerial consultations on network security concerns ahead of the planned field trials for 5G technology.

“There are some security concerns…but these concerns are not crystallized yet. The home ministry, department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), department of commerce, IT ministry and department of telecommunications (DoT) will have to sit together and discuss this before any decision is taken,” Indian press quoted a senior government official as saying.

Separately, DoT has also put in place security testing specifications for telecom equipment sold by any vendor, beginning January 1.

The Indian government aims to hold a 5G auction by August next year. Indian authorities expect the commercial launch of 5G technology to occur during 2020. Indian telecom regulator TRAI has recommended the auction of 8,644 megahertz of frequencies for the provision of 5G services.

Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan revealed this week that the government is working to release a broad range of spectrum bands for 5G.

In August, a high-level 5G panel in India had urged the national government to announce a 5G spectrum allocation policy by the end of this year. The panel also recommended earmarking additional spectrum bands for supporting 5G technology in the country. The 5G Forum, which was set up by the Indian government, recommended the temporary assignment of 5G frequencies for carriers willing to carry out trials in the coming months. The panel also advised the government to promulgate guidelines on regulatory matters for the auction of 5G frequencies by March 2019, to facilitate early 5G deployments in the country.

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