The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has amended the telecom licenses to mandate the use of equipment only from “trusted sources” from June 15, 2021. The move is widely believed to be India’s first formal step towards keeping Chinese gear suppliers Huawei and ZTE out of India’s future telecom expansion, including 5G technology rollouts, amid continuing border tensions. “The government through the designated authority will have the right to impose conditions for procurement of telecommunication equipment on grounds of defence of India, or matters directly or indirectly related thereto for national security,” DoT said on Wednesday.
The authority in this case will be the National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC). The telecommunication companies will have to provide any information as and when sought by the NCSC, who will notify the categories of equipment for which the security requirements related to trusted sources are applicable. The telcos will also be notified of the vendors from whom one can procure equipment and those that have not made the cut.
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