Indian operators are asking the Department of Telecommunications to allow Huawei and ZTE to engage in 5G tests

Indian telecom operators have written to the Ministry of Telecommunications (DoT) of the country asking them to lift limitations on vendors in 5G trials, according to Light Reading sources.

This letter sent by the Indian Telecom Operators Association (COAI) means that Indian operators expect to be able to compete in 5G trials by Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE. This outcome would be accomplished by the abolition of supplier-based constraints.

Indian operators also require that 5G test equipment be exempted from import tariffs and allow them to use the allotted spectrum for free testing anywhere in the applicable coverage area.

Sometime next year, India plans to hold a 5G spectrum auction, but has not included Chinese vendors in its list of companies invited to participate in 5G trials.

Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Cisco and NEC are said to be all on the list.

Indian operators are now required to exclude Chinese vendors from their chosen list of suppliers and change their applications for 5G trials.

Indian operators also intend to step up the process of the 5G trial. The Indian Government has not yet replied to the timeline or procedures, even though they submitted a trial application in January. Another condition for operators is that the spectrum given by the government should have a one-year duration of use for trial purposes.

Not long ago, Indian state-owned telecommunications operator BSNL told DoT that it is mandatory to purchase 4G network equipment from local vendors that has not been internationally tested, which could postpone its attempt to introduce high-speed data services for at least 18 months, while rising costs create problems with network quality and further reduce its chances of survival in a highly competitive industry

While Chinese vendors have not been officially barred by the Indian authorities, their stance on whether Chinese equipment can be used has not yet been explained, which has extended the confusion facing the Indian telecommunications industry.