India Will Conditionally Lift Ban On Chinese Telecom Equipment

By TechSecurityChina.com Editor
June 08, 2010

To avoid delay of telecom projects, officers from India’s Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Telecommunications, and intelligence organizations have jointly decided to allow Indian operators to import Chinese-made telecom equipment that are authorized by international security audit firms, or with the guarantee of banks.

Electronic Warfare Associates in Canada, Infoguard in the U.S., and Altal Security Consulting in Israel are the designated international security audit firms.

An officer from the Indian government also revealed that the government will allow Indian mobile operators to implement authorizations for imported telecom equipment by themselves, but this is only acceptable with the guarantee of banks. This transitional program will be implemented in the next 12 months to ensure the timely construction of telecom projects in India.

Prior to this, some Indian telecom operators said that their expansion was impacted, due to the Indian government’s ban on Chinese telecom equipment for national security concerns. These operators said they prefer equipment made by Chinese makers, including Huawei and ZTE, because the prices of the equipment is often one-third cheaper than those made by Western companies.

A representative from the Department of Telecommunications said that the country is currently establishing a related equipment testing lab, which is expected to be completed in one year. Before that, equipment imported from China should pass the authorization of international security audit firms.

In addition, news from India’s Business Standard said that British Telecom will provide support to Indian Institute of Science for the research and development of telecom equipment security testing software.

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