Chinese vendors such as Huawei and ZTE might not have a bright future in the telecom industry of India. The Indian government might amend the license conditions so that telcos in the country can’t take any critical telecom equipment from a Chinese vendor. If this were to happen, Huawei and ZTE would have no impact or contribution on the 5G trials and deployments in India. Would this mean that apart from the critical equipment, the telcos could source other kinds of equipment from the Chinese vendors to keep costs low? More details on the story ahead.
Government Might Ban Chinese Telecom Vendors Supplying Critical Telecom Equipment in the Country
As per a report from ET Telecom, a discussion between several ministries, security agencies, and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is going on for deciding whether every equipment of different nature or only critical equipment from the Chinese vendors should be banned.
An answer to this question must be out soon because telecom operators need clarity before the spectrum auctions are held in the first quarter of 2021. As per one of the officials related to the matter, it would hard to determine what would be ‘critical’ equipment and what would be not.
This is because, with 2G and 3G, the differences could be clearly made between the technology used. Still, with 5G, it is particularly hard because of the increasing convergence between new technologies.
If the Chinese vendors were phased out of India, it would increase the cost for procuring telecom equipment for the private operators of the country. Thus, there needs to be a discussion between the government and the telecom operators of India to decide how many years should this process be stretched to.
The centre has already directed both Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) not to source any equipment of Huawei or ZTE for providing telecom services. But this order could be soon rolled out for private telecom operators in the country as well.