Airtel and Vi (Vodafone Idea) have ignored the Chinese vendors while awarding new projects. The two telecom operators are walking down the same path as Reliance Jio. The largest telecom operator in India has been highlighting that it does not depend on any Chinese vendor to provide its services. Thus, Jio has been termed ‘clean telco’ and the telecom giant has been leveraging off the term for a while now. Airtel and Vi have done the same by not offering any new contracts to the Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei who are their old partners in providing telecom gear.
Airtel and Vi Ignore Chinese Vendors, But Still Work With them on Existing Contracts
As per an ET Telecom report, both Airtel and Vi have refrained from offering any new contracts to the Chinese vendors. However, these telecom operators still continue to work with ZTE and Huawei on their old and existing contracts which are yet to complete.
One of the biggest reasons behind the Indian telecom operators not working with the Chinese vendors isn’t just the data security, but also geopolitical reasons. A lot of European and US service providers are said to be not comfortable working with companies which are using gears and equipment from Chinese vendors. This is because of the potential possibility of theft of data which these US and European companies have in abundance.
So now the telecom operators are looking to award contracts to companies such as Nokia, Ciena, and Cisco. Chinese vendors such as Huawei and ZTE won’t be considered for offering any new deals by the telecom operators and that has been made clear.
The telecom operators need to plan their network strategy and for that, they need a certain clarity on how things can be executed. But working with Chinese vendors won’t give the telcos the clarity they need for planning. Thus it becomes a sensible thing to look ahead of Chinese companies.
As of now, Airtel depends on both Nokia and Huawei for the equipment of the NLD network in India. For the unaware, NLD is a part of the core networks of Airtel. With Airtel and Vi going the same ‘clean telco’ route, it will be interesting to see where the Chinese vendors finally end up in the Indian telecom space.