Telcom dept to rule out use of Chinese tech for BSNL 4G upgrade: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 18, 2020

The Telecom department of India has decided to rule out the usage of Chinese materials for the 4-G upgrade of the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), NDTV reported.

The report quoted the source in the government who told the ministry had decided to "firmly tell BSNL" not to use Chinese equipment in view of security issues. Sources said the department has also decided to rework the tender in this regard.

The Centre is also mulling on asking private operators to avoid using Chinese material to reduce their dependence on equipment made by Chinese firms.

Telecom companies like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have been working with Huawei in their current networks, while ZTE works with state-run BSNL, NDTV report added.

The decision came as India witnessed an aggressive standoff in Ladakh with Chinese troops that have already claimed 20 Indian soldiers' lives and left many wounded.

The network security of equipment made by Chinese companies are always doubtful, sources told NDTV.

On US President Trump’s recent visit, Reliance Jio owner Mukesh Ambani had assured him that he would not use any Chinese material to upgrade the network to 5G.

Reliance Jio is the only network in the world that doesn't use Chinese equipment, Ambani told Trump. Jio has South Korea's Samsung as a networking partner for both its 4G and 5G networks.

Upgradation of 4G facilities is part of the BSNL's revival package and earlier this year. However, there has been discord between BSNL employees and the government as the Centre kept pushing its Make in India policy for the package.

The BSNL employees had pointed out that all its competitors -- Bharati Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Jio -- were using equipment from multinationals, NDTV report stated.

Published on June 18, 2020

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