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India May Ban Chinese Telecom Gear

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On Wednesday, the Cabinet approved the National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector which could result in restrictions on the procurement of Chinese telecom infrastructure by India’s telcos. Under the directive, the government will designate “trusted sources” and “trusted products” to be integrated into the nation’s telecom network architecture. The move is the latest in a series aimed to curb India’s reliance on Chinese gear. India has already implemented bans on the importation of Chinese equipment across a range of sectors citing national security concerns. 

The GOI’s decision is likely to have sweeping implications in India’s quest to become a 5G-enabled nation. Earlier this year, the Department of Telecommunications formulated a special panel to look into the potential participation of Chinese companies in India’s 5G trials. As per some reports, Huawei and ZTE, two Chinese outfits had applied for participation in the nation’s 5G trials. Yet, the panel, reportedly, concluded that Chinese companies should not be involved. 

India’s wireless infrastructure is already heavily reliant on equipment manufactured by Huawei and ZTE. The government’s original decision to invite all vendors and operators to participate in India’s 5G trials raised serious concerns among many who contended that backdoors and malware that jeopardises India’s national security may be baked into their gear. It is also worth noting that Huawei threatened to curtail investment into India if it was forbidden from involvement in India’s 5G sprint.

Courtesy – timesnownews

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