Tata seeks DoT guidance on Chinese equipments, vendors

Tata seeks DoT guidance on Chinese equipments, vendors

Tata seeks DoT guidance on Chinese equipments, vendors

The company shot off its second letter to the Department of Telecom (DoT) in the last four days, seeking clarifications from the government.

"As a Tata company, it goes without saying that we are committed to protect national security and hence, we seek your guidance as to what is wrong with these equipment or vendors and what needs to be done by us or by these vendors to remain compliant with the requirements of national security," TTSL said in its letter to DoT Secretary P J Thomas.

Delays in giving clearance for essential equipments is adversely impacting network quality and customer services in general, the company said and raised another important issue that equipment being provided by some of the European vendors was also manufactured in China.

"We need to understand that many European brands are also getting their network equipment manufactured in China, what is going to be the policy of DoT as regards such equipments," it said.

The government in December last year amended the Unified Access Service (UAS) licence and stipulated that security clearance should be obtained before placement of purchase orders for procuring telecom equipment or software in view of national security concerns.
CDMA mobile operators especially have deployed networks procured from the Chinese vendors and any blanket ban on such vendors could hamper future growth as well existing services. Tata and Reliance Communications are two major CDMA operators and have over 160 million subscribers.

Representatives of Chinese telecom firms like Huawei and ZTE met senior government officials last week and offered every support to ensure that there was no security threat from these equipments.

"We had a meeting. Talks are going on. We have appealed to the government. We have put forward our thoughts. Let's see," ZTE India Head D K Ghosh said after the meeting, which lasted for about half an hour.

"The talks were held in a positive environment," he said when asked whether he was happy with the talks.

On the same day, Chinese Ambassador to India Zhang Yan also met Home Secretary G K Pillai.

Tata also raised another issue and said that there are many equipments which have nothing to do with network "espionage, malware, etc", but even such equipments have been rejected because these are from Chinese vendors. It urged the DoT to give fast clearance for such products.