Need for regulations: Government cautions mobile operators on security concerns
INDIAN Telecommunications Secretary Siddharth Behura has asked the chiefs of the country's top mobile operators to adopt a policy of self-regulation in sourcing telecoms equipment, newspapers reported on Saturday (August 29).
Operators including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone and Idea have been asked to come out with guidelines on sourcing equipment but a decision on whether to ban Chinese equipment was pending, papers said.
"We have agreed that security norms for the sector need to be tighter. After consultations with the industry, the government will issue fresh security-related guidelines," Behura was quoted by the Economic Times as saying.
Equipment suppliers must register with the Department of Telecom, agree to monitoring by security agencies and obtain clearance from the home ministry, two unnamed officials, who attended the meeting between senior executives and the government on Friday (August 28), told the paper.
The moves comes shortly after the federal government put restrictions on state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd from placing equipment orders with Chinese vendors, the Financial Express reported.
Telecom service providers do not manufacture any equipment in India, but source optical transmission solutions, mobile terminals, software solutions etc from vendors, the paper said.
The Economic Times said the govt was seeking a ban on Chinese manufactured equipment in 20 states but mobile firms opposed the move.
"The government has not placed any restrictions on Chinese vendors," SC Khanna, secretary-general, Association of Unified Services Providers, told the Financial Express.
"We have been assured that whatever would be done by the government would be in consultation with the industry."
India's Loop Telecom has tied up with Chinese's ZTE for its GSM rollout in India while Reliance Communications has outsourced its GSM network management to Huawei, Economic Times said.
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