The European Union (EU) hopes to collaborate with India on 5G rollout and global 5G security standards, according to media reports.
This is going to be part of discussions at the forthcoming India-EU summit on May 8.
The EU wants to align with a "democratic partner" like India to set open standards for 5G rollouts, as it works to limit the use of Chinese equipment in communications networks.
Significantly, the EU is India's largest trading partner.
Standards should be built around technical specifications, including 5G spectrum bands and interface technologies, to open opportunities for local and small enterprises, according to European Commission EVP Margrethe Vestager, as quoted in a Bloomberg report.
Change it up
Despite being one of the largest telecom markets in the world, India doesn't play an active role in the development of standards. However, cooperation from partners like the EU could definitely help it to change this.
Along with the US, Australia, UK and other European countries, India has restricted the use of Chinese equipment because of security concerns. The Trump administration was also pressurizing the country to avoid the use of Chinese equipment in 5G networks.
Earlier in 2021, India also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan to work with them on multi-million-dollar projects to counter the growing influence of China.
Unlike India, it's easier for the EU to ban the big Chinese vendors, Huawei and ZTE, as the other key equipment makers, Ericsson and Nokia, are based in Europe.
Meanwhile it is an extremely tough decision for India as telcos are used to procuring Chinese equipment cheaply.
Added to this, India has very few domestic vendors. The country has come up with several initiatives, including Make in India and the Production Linked Incentive scheme, to accelerate the development of India's local telecoms gear industry.
Europe will need to invest $355 billion by 2025 to set up a 5G network in all 27 countries, according to the recent study by Boston Consulting Group. India is likely to launch 5G services by the end of this year.
— Gagandeep Kaur, contributing editor, special to Light Reading