Huawei had a mixed 2020: it was banned from doing business with American companies, a development that saw the company’s flagship Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro ship without Google services, effectively making the handhelds unsellable in markets outside China. Huawei’s problems are not limited to devices: the Chinese corporation has its toes deep in the telecoms space and is one of the organizations that pushed for widespread provision of 3G and 4G services that have since been termed as superior to their competitors such as Nokia and Ericsson.
5G services are here, although they are limited to select first world countries such as the U.S., South Korea, and the U.K. While the technology was a prominent buzz word in 2019, it remains to be one of the most critical implementations that will catapult the technology space to the next phase. However, its use cases are trivial at best and will start making sense a few years from now. Think of 5G as what 4G was back in 2010. In fact, 4G is only available in most parts of Kenya (having been pushed by Safaricom, whose networking partner is Huawei) almost 6 years after it was launched in Kenya by the same carrier.
With this brief intro in mind, Huawei has been granted rights to test 5G services in India. The Asian state is a key market that cannot be ignored and has been on an ascent as far as newer technology implementations are concerned. According to ZDNet, India’s ICT Minister said that 5G trials will be performed by all carriers and vendors.
It should be noted that Huawei is on this on a trial basis, and has not been given any rollout contracts. Nevertheless, the fact that the corporation will be taking part in the exercise is a promising development – and implies that India is not budging to U.S.’s pressure to ditch Huawei. The likes of New Zealand and Japan have also cut ties with Huawei, whereas France, Russia, and Spain are testing 5G using Huawei equipment anyway.
Huawei has also made a name for itself based on the favourable pricing of its networking equipment and service that throw in impressive quality. This makes it hard to dismiss the company that has also bragged that its 5G technologies are far ahead of what the competition can offer. This superiority has reportedly made it a U.S. target – although America says Huawei snoops on its business partners. It is as ironical as it sounds.
Other players that have struck 5G testing deals in India include Samsung with Jio, Nokia and Ericsson with Airtel. Airtel has also roped in Huawei.