52% BSNL’s Equipments Are Chinese; Govt Will Audit Airtel, Jio, Vodafone Now
In a shocking revelation, it has been found that more than 52% of BSNL’s networking equipments are Chinese.
This has prompted Govt of India to start security audit of all telecom providers, including Airtel, Jio and Vodafone-Idea.
Will Govt take any action for using Chinese vendors for their networking equipments?
52% BSNL’s Networking Equipments Are Chinese
While replying to a query in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Communications Sanjay Dhotre has informed that 52% of networking equipments used by India’s state telecom carrier BSNL is Chinese.
While 44% of the equipments are provided by ZTE, a Chinese company, 9% of the equipments come from Huawei, another Chinese electronics and networking behemoth.
In the case of MTNL, only 10% of the equipments are Chinese.
After the recent border tensions with China, Govt had made several moves to stop Chinese firms winning tenders and bids for telecommunication, infrastructure, Railways and other projects.
Under these circumstances, the very fact that Chinese firms are providing services to state run telecom carrirer has raised eyebrows.
Security Audit For All Telecom Operators
In order to ensure that there are no Chinese companies in the telecom sector, Govt will now audit telecom operators, and check their equipment makers.
Although Jio is not using any equipment or service from the Chinese, Airtel and Vodafone do have equiipments made by the Chinese.
During the last GSM network expansion of BSNL, ZTE was the L-2 bidder, while Nokia was the L-1 bidder.
Explaining the process of allocating tender for telecommunication equipments, the Minister said, “The Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) procure and deploy telecom equipment from vendors based on their techno-commercial interests provided they adhere to the security provisions given in the license. Hence, no such data is maintained by Department of Telecommunications (DoT),”
As per the replies, both Airtel and Vodafone employ a multi-vendor approach for procuring networking equipments, and they have hired vendors from India, America, Europe and China.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.