In view of possible threats to the national security, the Centre has decided to make it mandatory for equipment used in telecom networks to be tested and approved by the Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC). TEC is a wing of the telecommunications department (DoT) and is responsible for formulating standards and providing technical support.
“The rules will soon be issued. They will take care of security concerns,” a DoT official said.
The new rules, when implemented, will mean that telecom equipment suppliers such as Ericsson, Alcatel Lucent, ZTE, Huawei, and Nokia Siemens will have to get their equipment tested and approved by TEC before they sell them to operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.
Earlier, the Centre had banned telecom service providers from procuring equipment from Chinese manufacturers, Huawei and ZTE. Intelligence agencies said they might pose a threat to security.
Later, the home ministry issued a note making it mandatory for all vendors to share their source code with the government.
A DoT note on the issue said it is “envisaged that every telecom product entering into the Indian telecom network has to be mandatorily certified by TEC before it operates in Indian telecom network.”
A DoT committee headed by a deputy director-general has also proposed changes in Indian Telegraph rules, which cover all telecom equipment, to match the new regime.
“The original equipment manufacturer in India shall have responsibility of getting the mandatory testing and certification done before sale of equipment in India,” the note said.