Ericsson calls for BSNL tender probe

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
India's BSNL has encountered more turbulence in its long-delayed GSM expansion plans, with Ericsson asking the government to probe its $450 million network tender.
 
The Swedish vendor has asked state corruption regulator the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to investigate the contract, over the stipulations requiring vendors to place their source codes and equipment designs in escrow for access by intelligence agencies, the Economic Times said
 
Ericsson, which withdrew from the process in October because it refused to share its source codes, has told CVC that government guidelines prevent any rule change partway through a tender.
 
Rival Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has reportedly asked BSNL to relax the rules for the tender, BSNL’s latest attempt to buy new network equipment.
 
The telecom ministry introduced security regulations requiring vendors to share their source codes in July, but after outcries from the foreign equipment supplies, the prime minister’s office intervened, ordering an inquiry into the guidelines.
 
In the interim, operators were left free to choose to follow either the escrow guidelines or the earlier regime requiring self-certification of telecom gear. BSNL chose to include the escrow terms in the GSM tender.
 

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