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How is Indian government preventing telcos from purchasing equipment from Chinese vendors?

India’s telecom department asks vendors to purchase only ‘trusted products’ cleared by it amid the ED’s action against China’s Vivo and Xiaomi

telecom mobile tower

The Indian government’s telecom department has directed telecom service providers (TSP) to only use equipment which bear a ‘Trusted Products’ mark for network expansion, in an amendment to a notification uploaded on the DoT’s (Department of Telecommunications) website. The notification added that the TSPs will need to obtain permission from the National Cybersecurity Coordinator (NSC) for using equipment which does not carry the mark. Why it matters: Two Chinese companies, Huawei and ZTE, are two of the biggest names in the telecom equipment space. The amendment is likely an attempt to close a loophole in the procurement rules of telecom equipment and prevent these vendors from doing business with Indian telcos. When will it come into effect: The amendment is applicable on all equipment installed on or after June 15, 2021. What did the notification state earlier: The contents of the provision were the same with an exception that telcos would be able to use equipment which did not have the ‘Trusted Products’ to expand their network because only upgradation was subject to oversight. It was important to close this loophole because some companies were exploiting it to sign contracts with Chinese vendors citing 'network expansion’, sources informed Economic Times. Overview of the rest of the notification: The rest of the notification retained its content with no changes. The Union government explained that it has the right to impose conditions on procurement because of national security. The licensee is supposed to provide information as and when sought by the NSC. The…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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