U.S. FCC Chairman Meets India’s Telecom Secretary To Discuss 5G, Spectrum Issues
Anshu Prakash, secretary & chairman, Digital Communications Commission, meets Ajit Pai, chairman, FCC,U.S. in Sanchar Bhawan, New Delhi. (Source: Department of Telecom verified Twitter handle). 

U.S. FCC Chairman Meets India’s Telecom Secretary To Discuss 5G, Spectrum Issues

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday met Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash and discussed issues ranging from spectrum to 5G.

However, the two sides did not discuss the contentious issue of participation of Chinese telecom vendors such as Huawei in the futuristic 5G networks. Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei, which rivals western equipment makers such as Ericsson, is facing curbs in the U.S.

India, however, had made it clear that the government will allocate airwaves to all telecom service providers for conducting trials of super-fast speed 5G networks, and that New Delhi will not bar any equipment suppliers in the upcoming trials for 5G.

Asked about his views on Huawei and if concerns around data security risk from Chinese companies were real, Pai said, "I would refer you to the comments I made previously. So the U.S. Government embraces a risk-based framework domestically and that is a part of the reason why FCC has, in parts, prohibited the use of funding that we oversee from being used by telecom carriages in the U.S., and equipment and services that have been deemed to be insecure."

Also read: FCC Member Slams 5G Security Readiness, Calls for U.S. Strategy

"We haven't singled out any particular country...But we initially designated Huawei and ZTE," he told reporters. Pai, who is part of the U.S. delegation currently visiting India, said he and Prakash discussed "topics of mutual interest".

"The U.S. and India are not just good friends but have a lot of similar priorities when it comes to telecommunications issues...We talked about a variety of spectrum issues including 5G," Pai said. Prakash, however, asserted that the issue of Huawei did not figure in Monday's discussions.

"We discussed how the teledensity is progressing, what is their fiberisation, which spectrum bands are they using, what they intend to do, what is their auction process, what has been their experience," Prakash pointed out. The two sides will work more closely and co-operate on measures to improve spectrum efficiency.

"We also informed them about Low Mobility Large Cell which we have developed for 5G technology and these technologies will also be used by the U.S. since it has a large cell area," Prakash said. Earlier during the day, Pai also met his Indian counterpart RS Sharma, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

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