DoT to Carefully Study the Issue on Security Concerns Over Chinese Telecom Gear Makers

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As Chinese telecom gear makers face heat globally over alleged security risks, Department of Telecom (DoT) on Wednesday said it would "carefully" study the issue on which many countries have raised concerns. The comments come at a time when developed markets like the US, Australia and New Zealand have taken a position against the use of equipment by Chinese vendors, particularly Huawei. "(Many countries) have expressed security concerns, so India will also have to study it very carefully," Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters here on the sidelines of the launch of India's first indigenous semiconductor chips by Signal chip.

Telecom operators are keenly monitoring the developments in the space, following the dispute between the US and China's Huawei that is among the world's largest telecom equipment makers. The US has alleged that Chinese equipment could pose security risks involving eavesdropping on global internet traffic.

However, not all nations are convinced and Germany has said it is not ready to block Huawei from its 5G network. India's largest telecom operator Vodafone Idea had recently said it would comply with the decision of the Indian government on the issue of the use of communications equipment from Chinese vendors, such as Huawei. This will be done to ensure that India's strategic needs and security are fully looked after, Vodafone Idea Chief Technology Officer Vishant Vora had said last week.

On Tuesday, telecom czar Sunil Bharti Mittal had also stated that his company is tracking the developments closely, although it doesn't "see any alarm bells ringing" just yet.

"In the end, Huawei is a big player in the telecom space. They have gone through a rough patch with the US. Europe has largely taken a decision that they will continue using Huawei. We are tracking this space very closely," Mittal had said.

On the issue of 5G trials, Sundararajan Wednesday said a committee has been set up to come up with a framework for the said trials.

"So it (committee) will have to look at several things. It will have to define what will be the size of the trial, what will be the duration of the trial, (we) have to define a lot of parameters, quantum of spectrum, how many locations, etc.," she said.

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