Dot tells telcos to buy telecom equipments only from ‘trusted sources’
Amid much talked about the buzz that the Indian government might soon consider barring private telecom players from sourcing critical equipment from Chinese manufacturers, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has revised a license agreement that mandates telecom companies not to buy from Chinese telecom equipment makers.
The DoT has further tightened telecom license conditions, mandating operators to use equipments only from vendors with ‘trusted sources’ approval for network expansion as well, besides upgradation.
As per the amended norms, telecom firms will have to seek approval from a “designated authority” for procuring equipment from companies that have not qualified as trusted sources.
The amendment says, “The government through the Designated Authority will have the right to impose conditions for the procurement of telecommunication equipment on grounds of Defence of India, or matters directly or indirectly related thereto, for national security. The designated authority for this purpose shall be National Cyber Security Coordinator. In this regard, the licensee shall provide any information as and when sought by the designated authority.”
It added, “designated authority shall notify the categories of equipment for which the security requirement related to trusted sources are applicable. For the said equipment, the designated authority shall notify the trusted sources along with the associated telecommunication equipment (trusted products). The Designated Authority may also notify a list of designated sources from whom no procurement can be done. Procedure for inclusion of telecommunication equipment in the list of trusted sources will be issued by the designated authority.”
Furthermore, the amendment read, “With effect from 15th June 2021, the licensee, shall only connect Trusted Products in its network and also seek permission from designated authority for upgradation or expansion of existing Network utilizing the telecommunication equipment not designated as trusted products. However, these directions will not affect ongoing Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMC) or updates to existing equipment already inducted into the network as on the date of effect. The licensees shall comply with the guidance for enhanced supervision and effective control of telecommunication networks, as per guidelines to be issued by the licensor.”
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