India weighs security testing on imported telecom gear

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

India is considering mandatory security tests on all imported telecom equipment.

Under the proposal, the Department of Telecom (DoT) would set up the Telecom Testing and Security Certification Center, an Indian news site reported. Its function would be similar to that of the China Information Technology Certification Center.
 
The government has also reportedly asked several major operators, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance and Idea, to develop guidelines on telecom gear sourcing.
 
As part of the proposed guidelines, all foreign equipment suppliers would be required to register with the DoT, agree to be monitored by security agencies and obtain clearance from the Home Affairs ministry, SCMP.com said.
 
The move comes after a proposed ban on using Chinese telecom gear in all but eight Indian states was met with resistance from the industry.
 
Local operators, many of which regularly source gear from Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE, reportedly fear that equipment costs would increase if the ban were enforced.
 
The government has nevertheless already ordered state-owned operator BSNL to apply the ban, and has yet to decide whether to do the same for private operators, an anonymous official told Reuters.
 
“Huawei has not received any notification of a ban and we remain fully committed to cooperating with all of our operator customers and the government in India,” Thong Poh Wah, vice director of Asia Pacific marketing, told telecomasia.net.  
 
“Huawei has a strong record of service to telecoms companies in India... due to the trust of the many operators that we serve.”
 
Analysts quoted by SCMP.com estimated that Huawei and ZTE share around 20% of India's telecom equipment market, and that India accounted for 11% of Huawei's revenue in 2008.

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