In a major relief to Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers including Huawei and ZTE, the government on Wednesday amended licences issued to telecom service providers, enabling them to buy equipment from all firms.
Under new licence conditions, telecom operators will have to keep all details regarding equipment design and password in an escrow account. This will allow security agencies to monitor networks whenever required.
Earlier, the government had made it mandatory for telecom service providers to get security clearances from the department of telecommunications (DoT) before buying any equipment.
However, in March, DoT issued a notification to all the operators saying: “…Security clearance is not granted for procurement of telecom equipment in respect of Chinese OEM firm namely Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corporation, Acelink Technologies and UT Starcom.”
This virtually banned operators from buying equipment from these companies.
ZTE and Huawei have emerged as leading equipment suppliers in the last two years with all the new operators.