NEW DELHI: Home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Friday said the government was yet to take a decision on allowing Chinese telecom companies to be part of 5G trials in India but acknowledged that the neighbour’s “penetration in the existing telecom hardware and software was too extensive”.
Bhalla said the government was making special safeguards to ensure safety and security of the country’s communication network.
“On 5G, the government in any case has not taken any call. Discussions are still on… when it will be allowed and who are the people to be allowed. Point is very valid. The penetration of existing telecom hardware and software is too extensive,” he said in reply to a question on participation of Chinese telecom players in India’s 5G trials. He was speaking at the Diamond Jubilee webinar organised by the National Defence College.
The home secretary said unless India got a substitute, the existing facilities could not be closed down abruptly.
“Unless we have a substitute available, we just can’t switch off and say that this will not be allowed. But the government can definitely make special safeguards and ensure the safety and security of the system of communication of the country. That we are having and we are developing and we will definitely be able to deal with that,” he said.
The US has banned Huawei over concerns of security and Washington has been putting pressure on other countries to restrict operations of the Chinese telecom firm.
India, however, is yet to take a decision on whether it intends to place curbs on Huawei or allow the Chinese telecom equipment maker to participate in the upcoming 5G trials.