The department of Telecom has ordered state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) not to use Chinese equipment in the upgradation of its 4G faculties. According to the sources, the ministry has decided to “firmly tell BSNL” not to use Chinese equipment in view for security reasons.
Government sources said the department has been asked to rework the tender in this regard. The similar directives will be given to Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL).
The government has also asked the private sectors to reduce their dependence on equipment made by Chinese firms, said sources. The strict move was taken by the government after the clashes on Monday night between India and China, which left 20 Indian soldiers dead in Ladakh’s Galwan valley. This is the biggest confrontation between India and China since 1967 clashes in Nathu La.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and several other telecom companies are working with Huawei in their current networkd, while ZTE works with state-run BSNL. The network security of equipment made by Chinese companies is always doubtful.
On Wednesday, Chinese handset maker Oppo cancelled the livestream launch of its flagship 5G smartphone in the country amid protests calling for the boycott of Chinese products in various parts of the country.
A few months ago, when US President Donald Trump visited India, Mukesh Ambani assured him that Reliance Jio will not give any single Chinese network part in its upcoming 5G network. Mr Ambani told Trump that Reliance Jio is the only network in the world that doesn’t use Chinese equipment.
Four of the five top smartphone brands in India (Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme and Oppo) are from China and accounted for almost 76% share of smartphones shipped in India in the quarter ended March 2020. South Korea’s Samsung is the only non-Chinese firm in the top five tally.