“We know India is important emerging market. From the long term perspective, I personally believe that the Indian 5G market will be a huge market and will be second only to China,”James Wu, president, Southern -East Asia region at Huawei Technologies said.
The long-term perspective can be 10 years. The executive said that Hong Kong will be the first market to deploy 5G technology in the South-East Asia region. “Thailand, India and Vietnam will, follow Hong Kong and launch 5G,” he added. Huawei said that it is working with Indian telecom operators in validating the technology that is core to 5G in the future. It is also working with local telcos for 5G field trials that may happen in the second half of the year.
The company along with its telecom operator partners is awaiting approval for spectrum allotment.
It said it is ready to talk to all stakeholders in India and engage with them through extensive consultations to allay any security-related concerns. It is said that the investments in the country will continue to grow as part of the long-term strategy for the “strategically important market.” “India market is challenging and unique, but it is very important to market for Huawei. India has a large population and huge telecom demand. Indian government’ push on 5G will help economic performance… Huawei has a long-term strategy in India…our investment will continue to grow,” said Wu.
Wu said that Huawei’s local teams have contacted government bodies and telecom operators in India for negotiations and discussions around the security-related concerns emerging from some western markets like the US.
“Our local teams are having detailed dialogues and have a communications plan for the India market. Up till now, we haven’t received any concerns from the India government. Cybersecurity is a technical issue. From the technical perspective 5G will be more secure than 4G,” he added. “As a tech company, Huawei stands ready to talk to all stakeholder in India and engage them with extensive consultations,” he added.
Huawei has come under global scrutiny after the US raised security concerns regarding 5G equipment, given their perceived proximity to the Chinese government. The US has asked its allies to ban 5G gear from Huawei. Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia have acquiesced. Huawei has now sought evidence from the US and accused other governments of wrongdoing, and has said that such information, if any, should at least be disclosed to carriers.
The executive said that Huawei is localizing globally proven technology, and is in currently working India telcos in validating the technology that is core to 5G in future. Huawei is also open to collaborating with the Indian government for setting up 5G test beds to develop new use cases and test the technology.
(The reporter is in Barcelona to cover MWC 2019 at the invitation of Huawei)