While intelligence agencies suspect that Chinese majors Huawei and ZTE pose a risk to India’s security, telecom operators are lobbying with the government to treat Huawei at par with domestic manufacturers.
Most of the service providers use infrastructure products supplied by Huawei as they are generally far cheaper than those offered by competitors.
In a letter to the department of telecommunications (DoT), the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written that Huawei should be included in the list of domestic manufacturers.
“COAI vide their letter dated 14th January, 2013 has forwarded a representation from one of their association members, Huawei Telecommunications (India) and also requested this department for recognition of Huawei India as a domestic manufacturer and inclusion of the name of the company in the list of domestic manufacturers circulated by the DoT, as presently its name is not in the list,” according to a DoT note.
Meanwhile, ZTE has also written to the DoT seeking domestic manufacturer status.
If the companies are able to get included in the list of domestic manufacturers, they will not have to pass through proposed stringent security tests.
The cabinet secretariat recently expressed concern over the induction of large scale foreign telecom equipment, especially by Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei, in private and government networks without testing.
The secretariat has asked the department of telecommunications (DoT) to make provision to identify spyware, malware and bugging software in these equipment.