The Cellular Operations Association of India (COAI), the country’s highest telecom representation body, on Friday signed a ,emorandum of understanding (MoU) with 5G-ACIA in a bid to shape and execute 5G-enabled mobile communications in different vertical industries. The 5G-Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (ACIA) is a working party of the German electrical and electronic manufacturers association, ZVEI.
The focus of the deal will be to empower the manufacturing and processing industry with 5th generation high speed internet connectivity.
“India is already an industrial powerhouse and manufacturing contributes to about 15 percent of the overall GDP of the country with an estimated number of more than 230,000 factories. The world is looking towards India how it shapes its industry 4.0 revolution, 5G certainly represent a critical enabler in this respect", said Andreas Müller, Chairman of 5G-ACIA in a statement.
Signed with the aim of collaborating to solve issues related to 5G and its industry-wide adoption across sectors, the agreement comes with a tenure of three years.
“We truly believe that this partnership will be mutually beneficial and build on insights and learning to shape industrial 5G mobile communications and technology effectively”, said Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI.
The Indo-German partnership comes at a time India when is deciding its line of action in the context of China’s overall involvement in the country’s development.
In 2019, amid the US-China trade war, India allowed Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE to participate in its 5G trials shunning Washington’s warning of threat to national security.
In the midst of the ongoing tensions, Chinese brands like Xiaomi and TikTok were traced to be tracking locations and incognito search histories of their users in India via illegal methods such as SIM-tapping. Both brands have made it onto the list of several Chinese products Indians are urging fellow countrymen to boycott.
On 25 June, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed Indian telecom company Reliance Jio among some of the "clean telcos" in the world who have kept away from doing business with Chinese companies like Huawei.
Indian analysts believe that India, which under its signed commitment to World Trade Organisation (WTO) policies cannot ban Chinese products, should work on improving its internal tech infrastructures and not serve the future of its tech infrastructure to China on a platter.
Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, India’s 5G trials that were slated for early 2020 stand delayed by a year. For now, India is fueled by affordable and speedy 4G networks. In 2019, reports suggested that India would conduct a fresh auction of the 4G spectrum between the 700 (megahertz) MHz and 2,500MHz bands in April 2020. The plan, which is also currently on hold may occur in the coming months in India.