Telecom equipment from China to face fresh curbs

Telecom equipment from China could face fresh curbs after the Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal to safe telecom infrastructure by designating a “trusted source” for the acquisition of equipment by service suppliers.

Briefing reporters after the assembly of the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Law, Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated a National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector has been framed retaining in thoughts the nationwide safety.


“Considering the need to ensure India’s national security, the Cabinet has accorded approval for the National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector,” Prasad stated.

Under the provisions of this directive, the federal government will declare an inventory of trusted sources and trusted merchandise for set up within the nation’s telecom community.

“The methodology to designate trusted products will be devised by the designated authority, the National Cyber Security Coordinator. Telecom service providers are required to connect new devices that are designated trusted products,” Prasad stated.

In current months, India has banned the import of equipment from China to be used in sectors ranging from telecom to energy citing nationwide safety causes.

These bans have been pushed by considerations equivalent to spy ware or malicious software program – often known as “malware” – being embedded within the imported equipment.

“The checklist of the trusted supply and product shall be determined based mostly on approval of a committee headed by the deputy nationwide safety advisor.

“The committee will consist of members from relevant departments, ministries and will also have two members from the industry and independent experts. The committee will be called the National Security Committee on Telecom,” Prasad stated.

The authorities can even create an inventory of designated sources from whom no procurement may be executed.

“The present directive does not envisage mandatory replacement of the existing equipment already inducted in the network of TSPs,” the minister stated.

Last yr, the federal government banned imports of Chinese handsets with out the International Mobile Equipment Identity, or IMEI, quantity, once more citing safety causes equivalent to using stolen handsets to make terror or hoax calls.

The IMEI variety of a cell phone is a 15-digit quantity distinctive to each cell handset. It prevents stolen handsets from making calls and permits safety companies to observe down a particular consumer.

Prasad stated the directive can even not have an effect on annual upkeep contracts or updates to current equipment already inducted within the community as on the date of impact of the directive.

The directive has provisions to qualify telecom gears made by home gamers within the trusted class.

“Those that meet the standards of the Department of Telecommunications’ preferential market entry (PMA) scheme shall be licensed as India trusted sources.

“The National Security Committee on Telecom will take measures to increase the use of equipment from such Indian trusted sources,” Prasad stated.

The PMA scheme provides weightage to telecom gears developed and manufactured by indigenous corporations.

The DoT will suitably notify tips and guarantee monitoring of compliance by telecom service suppliers of the directive.

“The Department of Telecom will make appropriate modifications in the licence conditions for the implementations of the provisions of the directive. The policy will come into operation after 180 days from the date of approval,” Prasad stated.

Photograph: PTI Photo

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