Vodafone Idea (Vi) is reportedly in talks with Chinese gear makers to expand network capacity in six telecom circles. Amid the tensions between India and China at the border, the government is pushing for local telecom gear which means a check on Chinese vendors like Huawei and ZTE. That said, a PTI report now claims that Vi is going ahead with the 'already awarded contracts' to the Chinese gear makers. The report also added that the telco is in the 'advanced stages' of processing orders for the network expansion. Both the Chinese gear makers- Huawei and ZTE worked with Vodafone Idea in the past. The circle details are unavailable as of this reporting.
Vodafone Idea to Award Contracts to Chinese Vendors
Vodafone Idea is looking to increase network capacity in six circles where it is witnessing increased demand. The PTI report further added that Vi is looking to go ahead with the contracts which were already awarded to the Chinese vendors. Furthermore, Vodafone Idea Chief Technology Officer Jagbir Singh reportedly confirmed that the company would not process any new orders to the Chinese gear makers, however, it will go ahead with the contracts that were already given in the past. The telco will opt for equipment from Huawei and ZTE in circles where the network is currently being served by them, Jagbir said in the past.
Later this month, the Indian government is expected to come up with new telecom licence norms. The amended telecom licence norms might restrict the telecom gear installation from China and other 'non-friendly' countries. That said, the norms may not require telecom operators to remove the existing network infrastructure and it will also allow them to continue working with Chinese companies for the already served areas.
Moreover, the government will provide a list of trusted companies and products which the Indian telcos can make use of to deploy in the coming years.
Huawei and ZTE will be hugely disappointed with such restrictions from the Indian government. However, other vendors like Ericsson and Nokia will be looking forward to meeting the increased demand from Indian telcos. At the same time, the government is pushing for local manufacturing of telecom gear.