Airtel To Replace Chinese Telecom Gear Makers Huawei, ZTE With European Vendors For 5G Trials In India: Report

Swarajya StaffWednesday, August 19, 2020 4:37 am IST
Bharti Airtel office building in Gurugram. (Pradeep Gaur /Mint via Getty Images)
Bharti Airtel office building in Gurugram. (Pradeep Gaur /Mint via Getty Images)

Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel is planning to replace its Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE with European telecom gear suppliers Nokia and Ericsson for the upcoming 5G trials in India, reports Economic Times.

According to the report, Airtel will soon submit fresh applications for the 5G trials in Kolkata and Bengaluru with the Sweden's Ericsson and Finland's Nokia. The telco had earlier tied up with the Chinese companies for both the circles.

Airtel opting for European vendors is also expected to help the department of telecom (DoT) as it will not have to issue a formal communication for keeping out the Chinese vendors from India's 5G trials.

The government has so far banned Chinese gear makers from supplying equipment to state-owned firms BSNL and MTNL, and has privately indicated that ZTE and Huawei would not be allowed in 5G deployments even for private players. However, no formal communication have been issued in this regard to private telcos so far.

Meanwhile, Reliance Jio has filed separate applications for the 5G trials with Samsung and on its own while Vodafone-Idea has applied with both Chinese and European gear makers and is expected to take a final call on replacing Huawei and ZTE after SC verdict on AGR dues.

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