India launches 5G network test, partner excludes Huawei, ZTE

India’s telecom ministry excluded China’s Huawei (Huawei) and ZTE (ZTE) from 5G trials.

India’s telecom ministry has excluded China’s Huawei and ZTE from testing 5G networks, making India the latest country to exclude Chinese companies in the 5G space.

India’s telecom ministry allowed more than a dozen companies, including equipment suppliers such as Ericsson (Ericsson), Nokia (Nokia) and Samsung (Samsung) network subsidiaries, to test 5G networks for six months.

India’s telecom ministry said in a statement that the main participants in the trial are India’s top three telecom operators, including the largest private group Reliance Industries’ Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel These three local telecom giants will work with India’s state-owned telecom operator MTNL to conduct the tests.

India is the world’s second largest cell phone market. The six-month test is designed to test 5G devices and technologies in different environments.

The Indian Telecom Authority said each company “must test in rural and peri-urban environments in addition to urban ones so that 5G technology is rolled out across the country and not just in urban areas.

India has not imposed an official ban on Chinese companies, and local equipment suppliers are still buying a lot of equipment from Chinese companies, but it is widely believed that the Indian government has begun to take a stricter, more security-conscious approach to networks, which will increasingly disadvantage Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE.

Last year, political tensions between India and China escalated rapidly, with fierce clashes erupting along the border, leading India to change a foreign investment rule that made it difficult for Chinese companies to invest in Indian companies.

Later, India even banned more than 200 apps related to cybersecurity, including TikTok, UC Browser and PUBG Mobile, among others.

The Indian government said in March that after June 15, telecoms companies could only source certain equipment from state-approved “reliable sources” and said authorities may issue a “no procurement” list of banned suppliers.

So far, Huawei has been removed from the 5G development by some other countries. The U.S. Department of Commerce has also placed Huawei on a “list of entities” that restrict Huawei from using products containing U.S. technology and software.